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Thread: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

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    It goes way beyond just income disparity, AdamT. Whether there is a dramatic income disparity or not, when there are incentives for banks to extend bad loans all across the country and then package those debts into a myriad of other financial instruments, it is an act of financial warfare that resembles biological warfare. The deliberate spreading of contagions. When there are virtually no cost containment incentives in a health care industry, it's going to make more people poor. Free trade, globalization and trade deficits, half the country or more scared ****less of its government's outrageous spending levels and therefore nervous about investing money, we're all buying less from small businesses and more from giant corporations, and even population and immigration play a part in all this. ... It goes on and on.

    Our underlying problem cannot be simplified to the rich being too rich. Repeating the same things about wealth or income gaps attempts to hint that it's a root cause. These things are dynamic and mutually reinforcing patterns. Showing them as causal and linear skews and oversimplifies the argument.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 09-13-11 at 02:15 PM.

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2010 was $22,314.
    I am fortunate enough to say that I really cannot imagine how a family of four survives on less than $2,000 a month. It is unfathomable to me that over 15% of the nation - about 50 MILLION people - is in this terrible situation. Something has got to give- income disparity as it is in this nation is at or nearing unsustainable (read: revolution-inducing) levels, IMHO.
    Last edited by nijato; 09-13-11 at 02:32 PM.
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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    It goes way beyond just income disparity, AdamT. Whether there is a dramatic income disparity or not, when there are incentives for banks to extend bad loans all across the country and then package those debts into a myriad of other financial instruments, it is an act of financial warfare that resembles biological warfare. The deliberate spreading of contagions. When there are virtually no cost containment incentives in a health care industry, it's going to make more people poor. Free trade, globalization and trade deficits, half the country or more scared ****less of its government's outrageous spending levels and therefore nervous about investing money, we're all buying less from small businesses and more from giant corporations, and even population and immigration play a part in all this. ... It goes on and on.

    Our underlying problem cannot be simplified to the rich being too rich. Repeating the same things about wealth or income gaps attempts to hint that it's a root cause. These things are dynamic and mutually reinforcing patterns. Showing them as causal and linear skews and oversimplifies the argument.
    I agree that income disparity is a symptom and not the cause of our problems. But at a certain point -- now, for example -- it becomes a cause in itself; a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. The economy needs consumer spending to grow, but the rich have a huge percentage of the money and they're only going to spend so much of it. We need to raise revenue, so where does it come from? Well, the rich have a huge percentage of the money, so.... It's an economic rather than a moralistic argument. For capitalism to function properly, you need a reasonable distribution of wealth between the poor and the rich (i.e., a healthy middle class). But when left to itself, capitalism tends to distribute the wealth towards the wealthy. Therefore you need some kind of mechanism to counter that natural flow.

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    When poverty went up 2001-2002-2003, the liberals were quick to blame Bush.
    Where is their criticism of The Obama?

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato View Post
    I am fortunate enough to say that I really cannot imagine how a family of four survives on less than $2,000 a month. It is unfathomable to me that over 15% of the nation - about 50 MILLION people - is in this terrible situation. Something has got to give- income disparity as it is in this nation is at or nearing unsustainable (read: revolution-inducing) levels, IMHO.
    Wait... because a number of people live in a manner -you- cannot imagine, a revolution brews?
    That ivory tower must be nice.

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by PzKfW IVe View Post
    When poverty went up 2001-2002-2003, the liberals were quick to blame Bush.
    Where is their criticism of The Obama?
    Not sure I blamed Bush. But I do blame policies that favor the wealthy over the working man. And i do blame an attitude that says working folks are bad and wealthy are good. We see that with teachers and taxes.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I understand what you're saying. And I think you're trying to make a reasonable argument. That said, I think things would have been much worse withou those programs you mention. I think it is a mistake to look at them as cures. Instead, they help buffer the pain. To really make a dent and prevent an increase would have taken a much larger investment than we had.
    I would go a step further and add that the investment must include programs geared at solving the problems which lead to poverty, namely lack of education and job skills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    For capitalism to function properly, you need a reasonable distribution of wealth between the poor and the rich (i.e., a healthy middle class). But when left to itself, capitalism tends to distribute the wealth towards the wealthy. Therefore you need some kind of mechanism to counter that natural flow.
    That mechanism would make it something very different than capitalism. Capitalism needs the people to be educated and informed and to purchase and vote with a careful consideration of the future they want to leave to their children. In short, if capitalism needs a regulator, it has to be the people. If it's government, it ceases to be capitalism.

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    That mechanism would make it something very different than capitalism. Capitalism needs the people to be educated and informed and to purchase and vote with a careful consideration of the future they want to leave to their children. In short, if capitalism needs a regulator, it has to be the people. If it's government, it ceases to be capitalism.
    Government is how "the people" regulate capitalism. If government doesn't do it's job, capitalism crashes.

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    Re: U.S. Poverty Climbed to 17-Year High in 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by tessaesque View Post
    I would go a step further and add that the investment must include programs geared at solving the problems which lead to poverty, namely lack of education and job skills.
    I would support such programs.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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