Thursday, February 05, 2015


Political Mayhem Thursday: Income inequality

So… There is income equality in the United States.  It's inherent in capitalism that people will have varying degrees of income.  However, many people think that the wide disparities between rich and poor-- or, really, the disparity between the very rich and everyone else--  in this country is too wide.  The gap has expanded since the 1970's,  Between 1979-2007, the top 1% saw their after-tax income rise by 275%, while the middle class saw an increase of about 40%.  

Is this a problem?  If so, what should be done?

I don't know the answers, but I will say this: lumping in a high income earning family comprised of two working parents who each earn $100,000 with households earning $1 million or more is a quick way to disaster.

The key is to somehow promote education and increase the overall earning potential of the 99% more than we have, and yet not tax the 1% so much they are disincentivized (eg, Great Britain in the Beatles era).
Definitely a problem. But it's hard to characterize the problem, much less to identify its source(s). As a result, we don't really know how to fix it.
Well, you could always give away your excess to those who have less and narrow the gap between you and them. Of course, that would only increase the gap between you and those with more.

There will always be that 1%. It just won't always be populated with the same folks. A generation ago George Foreman's and Archie Manning's folks were poster children for the less fortunate. Now Archie's kids make him look like a piker. And didn't I read that the prexy of Sony started out as a secretary at the company's antecedent only to retire making $15 M per year.

It has always been so, at least in this country. A lot of great wealth is inherited, but a lot is earned or otherwise acquired by hook or crook, sometimes by ingenuity and luck and skill and being in the right place at the right time, and by dropping out of Yale or some other IVY or "lesser" college and doing something on the cutting edge. I like that, and I sure ain't in the top 1%.
The scariest part of income inequality is that it doesn't bother us.

John, it was truths in your sentiment I struggled with all day Thursday and still am. Has resignation of society as it has evolved become foundation for tomorrow?

Affordable college opportunities from the 60’s offered just that, differing opportunities that combined learning with discovery, innovation, implementation, and opportunity to expand upon all - broadening horizons personal and communal while, at the time, not severely limiting those contributing mostly in implementation, production, delivery, etc of the discovery and innovation. Many had opportunity to contribute through participation in many stages . . .

Might the root evil be molded plastic packaging? Keeping current one’s Amazon prime membership ensures delivery to our door of most all one’s needs – wants satiated with little or no human interaction accompanied by mild irritation and cussing tolerated while breaking open the packaging to retrieve that so prized.

Disassociation with and lessened need for the value and contributions of neighbors and citizens has its unique consequences – an acquired existence of self-reliance that portends a reversal of fortunes that moved our ancestors from tribalism to community to statehood to nationalism.

‘Tribalism’ can be alluring as long as the gates are stout and manned, and Amazon’s drones continue to deliver all one’s needs. . .
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