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Thread: Wealth Distribution in the USA

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    Default Wealth Distribution in the USA



    "Research has shown an inverse link between income inequality and social cohesion. In more equal societies, people are much more likely to trust each other, measures of social capital (the benefits of goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social connectedness among groups who make up a social units) suggest greater community involvement, and homicide rates are consistently lower." -Wikipedia

    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    ^ I believe we need a facepalm button on the forum
    Quote Originally Posted by 1981slater View Post
    Axis of Evil: Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Agarina
    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa Darmandzhyan
    Agarina does not like human beings; she just wants a pretty boy toy.
    Johari Nohari

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    Good video. I have watched it before.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Propaganda: Change your society to match Finland or else they'll get very cross and post videos on tinternet.

    Twas a nice video though, even if the results were slightly misrepresented.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Yeah. The US is fine. It seems like Aqua wants the 'rich Americans' to burn and suffer chaos. All the anti-American sentiment seems very passive-aggressive imo.
    It's misguided philanthropy, particularly for the political classes. Every country, regardless of politics enjoys a universal 90/10% wealth split.

    It's just whether you would like someone who earns it to get into that position or a politician. Unsurprisingly in the countries that earn it, they tend to do better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Do you have a question?
    Plenty of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    You're not even from the US.
    So?
    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    What are your motives for making this thread?
    I'm sure you can make up enough answers for that. *refresh* And here we go:
    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    It seems like Aqua wants the 'rich Americans' to burn and suffer chaos. All the anti-American sentiment seems very passive-aggressive imo.
    I also hate freedom and fund terrorism.

    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    The US is fine.
    By what standards?
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Yeah. The US is fine. It seems like Aqua wants the 'rich Americans' to burn and suffer chaos. All the anti-American sentiment seems very passive-aggressive imo.
    lol and why are you acting like such a prissy bitch

    how dare someone insinuate anything slightly negative about grand ol' murica. close this thread immediately.

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    Robot Assassin Pa3s's Avatar
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    I for one think that I have no particular "anti-american" sentiment. The USA are just one example for this situation (albeit a rather extreme one), here is a graph about the Situation in Germany: (it's divided in tenths of the population on the x-axis)

    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    19 + 61 = 80% at P10.

    Not much different.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    ^ I believe we need a facepalm button on the forum


    There is a kinda of a button...

    it's 5 letters
    colon doh colon...

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    Decadent Charlatan Aquagraph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    I for one think that I have no particular "anti-american" sentiment. The USA are just one example for this situation (albeit a rather extreme one),
    Western culture tends to culminate in the States in many ways.

    Here's something what I found:
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    "Research has shown an inverse link between income inequality and social cohesion. In more equal societies, people are much more likely to trust each other, measures of social capital (the benefits of goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social connectedness among groups who make up a social units) suggest greater community involvement, and homicide rates are consistently lower." -Wikipedia
    ]
    But no clear evidence on the direction of causation exists, unfortunately. (I'm not a fan of econometrics, but this is one of the few cases where it could really go both ways)

    It's misguided philanthropy, particularly for the political classes. Every country, regardless of politics enjoys a universal 90/10% wealth split.
    A standard pareto distribution would be more on the line of 80-20, but yes, that's the gist of it.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Would like to know what equal society is. Sounds like a buzzwords so far.

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    Decadent Charlatan Aquagraph's Avatar
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    I'm not into forcing everyone to share all wealth equally with a government intervention but I wouldn't mind if some superhackers would level all bank accounts and remove all debts.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    I agree that the wealth disparity is an issue, and that it could be a potential downfall of the US. Karl Marx wrote 'rebellion occurs when the difference between the have's and have-not's becomes too great'.
    Different era. Gone with the wind. He and Engels were a bit enraged when it came to exploitation of workers (children) which different schools, especially the classic school had taken care of by reducing labour time, a total ban on employing kids younger than ten years, improving life conditions of workers and their evaluation, which improved overall efficiency greatly.

    Buzzwords will be buzzwords, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    I'm not into forcing everyone to share all wealth equally with a government intervention but I wouldn't mind if some superhackers would level all bank accounts and remove all debts.
    Lul.

    The Autonomist movement is strong in you, let the hate flow through you, young one. You're going to be a great politician one day, Aqua. Providing you won't blow yourself up first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Western culture tends to culminate in the States in many ways.

    Here's something what I found:
    Very interesting. What do you think when you add more meaning to the data?


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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    I'm not into forcing everyone to share all wealth equally with a government intervention but I wouldn't mind if some superhackers would level all bank accounts and remove all debts.
    Well superhackers have done this in the past, just with you know hacksaws and other more physical instruments...

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agarina View Post
    ^ I believe we need a facepalm button on the forum
    I added a doh quote type. It is also a button on the advanced editor.

    dohQuote from: dohdohdohdoh

    facepalmable text here

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    From what year is this graph/data from?
    QOL 2005, last time they did the survey. Don't know where Aqua's data is from. I made the graph just before I posted it.

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    Seems like the U.S. is on the radar of terrorist groups once again...



    Let me in, I'm a loyal comrade.

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    It would be interesting to see that chart in terms of purchasing power parity. It's not well understood that the middle classes in countries like Uganda have a much higher 'real' standard of living than the poor in developed countries because they can buy more for their 1, 5 or 10 cents than Europeans or Americans can with their dollars.

    The only complication is that things need to be made in poor countries before they become available to them because of the cost of Western labour that manufactures it.

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    I stand corrected, the US are not an "extreme" example for wealth inequality. However, that doesn't make the issue any better.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vois View Post
    hahahahahaahahahahaha its the same god damn video.
    Oh Vois...

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    America isn't really bad or irrecoverable right now.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...ca-chart-graph

    However the main problem is not the top 20%, it's the 20% below the top 20%.



    This is above average folk, call it the average middle class, that are declining at the same rate as the bottom 60%

    This is the group that will produce the individuals of above average competency, the desire to organize and move ahead and when exceptional offspring of this class start organizing the bottom 60% to commit bloody murder on the top 1-10%, it will come to a head.

    As you can see this group is below the share of wages and wealth today and in fact they do virtually no better than the 3rd 20%. As the bottom 80% converges towards a mutually felt misery, poverty and lack of opportunity, their goals become shared instead of separated and well the exceptional individuals born within these groups will start organizing within and engaging in conflict. Note 2003 tax cuts(largely capital gains and dividend tax cuts, without any for the bottom 80%) and the decline of the bottom 80% after that.

    What needs to happen to overturn this sort of death spiral is that the bottom 40% needs to level off(you can see the bump in the lowest due to the minimum wage increases in states and eventually national around that time(2007ish), a lot of wages increases in anticipation to federal legilsation so the trend should pre-date the federal legislation.)

    The problem that exists is that the second 20% is doing horrible, and is losing as far as share of total income.

    In the long term this is not a tenable situation, and in fact it's important that the 2nd and 3rd 20% have steadily increasing income, this essentially is the middle class and lower middle class. A very small shift in this amount actually represent a large number of individuals disenfranchised and becoming a long term problem. If this 40% were to converge at the minimum wage level you can be sure there will be extreme social turmoil.

    The longer term trend is that the bottom 80% have been hurting since Reagan, that this trend needs to be reversed.

    I want to see this chart for 2008-2012, I think that should be much much worse for the bottom 80%.
    Last edited by mu4; 05-14-2013 at 01:17 PM. Reason: edit for misreading the chart

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    Graphs galore...

    William, why don't you spearhead that Damn Fine Smelling Socks party of yours and run against Aqua's Pirates?

    Given Finland's far-right on the rise you could confuse and amuse both, and storm to power funded by cash solely utilising dirty socks.

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    consumption inequality is lower in the US than income inequality... the peculiar way the monetary system works it's actually doubtful to me whether "the rich" can ever turn their monetary wealth into real wealth by consuming it in aggregate. that would probably get counteracted by central bank interventions.

    ps. a large part of inequality is just a manifestation of the pareto principle; a very common effect seen in tons of natural dynamic systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

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    It should be noted that if one were to redistribute the wealth as advertised the results would add no extra beef stew to the dinner plates of Americans. Say you half the inequality whilst completely and perfectly preserving the value of the US economy. It would be roughly true that the price of beef stew would double because twice the amount of cash would be chasing the same supply and demand problem.

    There is an argument that you could actually force the price up above double because stripping the money out of investments in beef farms would cause many of them to shut down; also leading to wider unemployment; which is likely countermanded by people targeting investment in beef - if they believe the profits won't be stolen which is rather more difficult to convince them off once you've just used the government to asset strip the previous investors...

    The primary reason that the wealth in the US has been growing wider is the mixed impact of globalisation and minaturisation. In the 70s you could buy a pocket calculator for about $100 in todays money. For that money today you can have a mobile phone much more powerful than the rocket which took men to the moon. As the pocket calculator was made locally the cost was much higher for labour because other americans had to be employed. Now China makes everything at a fraction of the cost and the US/Japanese whoever company pumps the profits out to pay for the equity that whatever pension fund or investment house gave it as finance. The return on invesment just floats above the base rate by a risk factor and enough return to get chumps in the US to put their money into the bank.

    The great thing about the free market is that it's great at generating shit that people want as quickly as possible. Gas to heat old folks homes and computers to talk about the free market on. 80/20 to 90/10 is just consequence of the requirement that investment money has to sit somewhere. It's important to remember that the richest men in the world are self made - Slim, Buffet and Gates. So the capital is just floating to the people who deliver institutional growth.
    Last edited by InvisibleJim; 05-14-2013 at 01:32 AM.

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    It should be noted that if one were to redistribute the wealth as advertised the results would add no extra beef stew to the dinner plates of Americans. Say you half the inequality whilst completely and perfectly preserving the value of the US economy. It would be roughly true that the price of beef stew would double because twice the amount of cash would be chasing the same supply and demand problem.
    i've seen a lot of cute attempts at being coherent in my time, jim but, i just gotta thank you for this one. what a laugh riot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by labtard View Post
    i've seen a lot of cute attempts at being coherent in my time, jim but, i just gotta thank you for this one. what a laugh riot.
    Beef stew is always a laugh riot. The curious thing is that people demand to be the 'richest' not that they demand the increase in supply of things that they want.

    It's never: I want more first class flights!! More TVs must be 100 inches! More houses must be at least 2000 sq ft! This way more people can afford them and life becomes bettar!

    It's always: I've never been really successful in my life, dropping out of college with a crappy social studies/socionics degree and I work a shitty job in administration pushing paper or stacking supermarket shelves whilst glorifying my drug taking teenage years, but these people who have been given money by people who wanted them to have it or have earned it by not making my shitty choices are despicable. I want to ride first class and snub my nose at the poor people too! It's not fair, boo hoo.

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    Hmmm.. seems to me the current wealth distribution is quite alright, if not a little bit skewed (i.e. should be even LESS towards the lower 90%).

    I mean, the video itself proves that 92% of the losers polled had no fucking clue what the wealth distribution of their own country is, so that pretty much sums-up why those 92% have no wealth- ignorance, incompetence, conclusion jumping and uselessness.

    Furthermore, then these obvious economic wizards pull some "desired" wealth distribution completely out of their ass without any clue or inquiry about actual value of people in the given society. i.e. "This fraction should be getting X% of the wealth because.. well, because... WELL, BECAUSE! THAT'S WHY!" What kind of sense is that? Why should the distribution be in the form that these clueless ninnies pulled out of their ass? What have people done in each theoretical bracket in order to achieve or deserve X% of wealth? Oh, that is outside the scope of their bullshittery fantasy nonsense... gotcha.

    I'd motion with such total displays of ignorance and incompetence that the wealth distribution be even sharper towards the upper 8% (i.e. not the 92% of jackasses polled like this video shows) than it is today due to the information acquired from this poll. It truly makes it completely obvious the 92% are too stupid to have any kind of wealth.


    Last edited by Finale; 05-14-2013 at 03:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Western culture tends to culminate in the States in many ways.

    Here's something what I found:
    This is rather a limited graph. Most truly serious income disparity happens in Latin America and Africa. This list appears only to include more "developed" nations.

    While I recognize that there is a fairly serious wealth distribution issue in the United States living in Mexico makes it seem quite trivial.
    "[Scapegrace,] I don't know how anyone can stand such a sinister and mean individual as you." - Maritsa Darmandzhyan

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    It should be noted that if one were to redistribute the wealth as advertised the results would add no extra beef stew to the dinner plates of Americans. Say you half the inequality whilst completely and perfectly preserving the value of the US economy. It would be roughly true that the price of beef stew would double because twice the amount of cash would be chasing the same supply and demand problem.
    It would be roughly my ass. Sorry Jim but this is laughable, you are assuming that the supply of beef stew is completely inelastic with respect to price, and its demand completely elastic with respect to income, which is completely absurd. I really hope you're joking.

    There is an argument that you could actually force the price up above double because stripping the money out of investments in beef farms would cause many of them to shut down; also leading to wider unemployment; which is likely countermanded by people targeting investment in beef - if they believe the profits won't be stolen which is rather more difficult to convince them off once you've just used the government to asset strip the previous investors...
    Hello? Why exactly would people who receive "stocks in beef farms" want to close the farm and cash everything? More importantly, they would have to sell the farm to someone else, which would likely go on with the business, especially if we suppose that prices are doubling...

    Jim, just...no.
    Last edited by FDG; 05-14-2013 at 08:04 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    The problem that exists is that the top 20% of the bottom 80% is doing horrible, and is making a wage below the median.
    Top 20% of the bottom 80% would be 16% of the whole population. I imagine you're referring to second 20%, which would be 25% of the bottom 80%?

    Please explain to me how second 20% can make a wage above median when median is defined as the value that is higher than 50% of the sample and lower than 50% of the sample.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    It would be roughly my ass. Sorry Jim but this is laughable, you are assuming that the supply of beef stew is completely inelastic with respect to price, and its demand completely elastic with respect to income, which is completely absurd. I really hope you're joking.
    It takes years to make a functioning efficient farm and farmland is a difficult to acquire commodity, especially in the developed world. Perfect efficiency only exists in textbooks and only an academic economist would forget that

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    It takes years to make a functioning efficient farm and farmland is a difficult to acquire commodity, especially in the developed world. Perfect efficiency only exists in textbooks and only an academic economist would forget that
    And you are assuming there is zero scalability in current "farmland" and no substitude products to "beef stew". (you're not lucky - I come from a very rural region) Just as a very down to earth example: milk and cheese cows will be converted, etc. etc. it's you that are assuming an unrealistic textbook scenario, tbh.

    Really, the only thing that will happen is an increase in prices of variable entity, talking about "doubling" is absurd and it shows you're just arguing to be right. (and let's not even forget that you're assuming that people will use their wealth to consume more food, namely you're confusing "wealth" with "income"...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    And you are assuming there is zero scalability in current "farmland" and no substitude products to "beef stew". (you're not lucky - I come from a very rural region) Just as a very down to earth example: milk and cheese cows will be converted, etc. etc. it's you that are assuming an unrealistic textbook scenario, tbh.

    Really, the only thing that will happen is an increase in prices of variable entity, talking about "doubling" is absurd and it shows you're just arguing to be right. (and let's not even forget that you're assuming that people will use their wealth to consume more food, namely you're confusing "wealth" with "income"...)
    Then replace food with anything. You assuming that by doubling the value of money in circulation that you will actually change what people buy. This will only occur in the short term.

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    InvisibleJim's Avatar
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    FDG, have you ever considered changing your user title to 'Non-inflatory economist'?

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    Then replace food with anything. You assuming that by doubling the value of money in circulation that you will actually change what people buy. This will only occur in the short term.
    IJ, nothing says that redistribuiting the wealth in a completely homogeneous way will double the value of money in circulation. If that's your assumption, then surely everything you say makes (more) sense. But I don't see why it should hold, since it would imply 1) that all the wealth would be used for consumption; 2) that the propensity to consume of the bottom 50% in the "excess wealth" they would receive is fourfold the propensity to consume of those who currently hold that wealth.

    FDG, have you ever considered changing your user title to 'Non-inflatory economist'?
    I never claimed there would be no inflation, I simply argued against your assertion hat the price of everything will instantaneously double. Even if the state where to give a stipend of 100% their income to the bottom 50% bracket of the income distrubtion, prices would likely not double for standard goods, since people would not consume all their income.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aiss View Post
    Top 20% of the bottom 80% would be 16% of the whole population. I imagine you're referring to second 20%, which would be 25% of the bottom 80%?

    Please explain to me how second 20% can make a wage above median when median is defined as the value that is higher than 50% of the sample and lower than 50% of the sample.
    The chart is broken into 5 20% blocks, I'm indicating the 20% block at the top of the 80% block. Thus the 2nd 20%block.

    Actually I read the chart wrong, the % amount on the chart indicates change in share of income. I'm not sure what that actually means statistically, suffice it to say, the bottom 80% is hurting vs the top 20%. I made some changes to the original post to reflect my mistake.

    This actually makes the chart even more dire because everyone below the top 20% is getting their asses kicked.

    This seems related to this report as well which indicates that post-tax income for the 2nd 20% block has only increased 35% since 1979 while the top 20% has gained 95%. This means that for everyone except the top 20% have not maintained against inflation since 1979.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3220

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