View Poll Results: What should be done to battle income inequality in the USA?

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  • Do not intervene

    47 51.09%
  • Yes, do intervene

    45 48.91%
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Thread: Income Inequality

  1. #771
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Gimmesometruth View Post
    I am not talking about COLA, I am talking about inflation and the lack of wage gains since the 1980's.



    I believe that when workers have increased productivity and corporations have massive profits, those workers should share in the wealth generated. I believe that if workers face inflation, they should see increases in the min wage to reflect those cost increases. I believe that the rising levels of inequality due to nearly non-existent wage gains damages opportunities for workers to climb and damages the economy long term, and I have shown the evidence for this throughout my postings not only in this thread but throughout the forum.

    You are simply relying on an extremist Randian libertarian viewpoint that will not accept the macro conditions and only focuses upon individual "moral" deficiencies. I have seen this time and again.
    Share the wealth my ass. You want the government to mandate it and sharing doens't come from a mandate. Tell you what, go into business and prove you believe what you say by paying someonen with $5/hour skills $20/hour. Until you do, butt out of what someone else should be paying an employee.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by tuhaybey View Post
    Do you feel that whatever raises you get are an accurate reflection of your merit? For example, I have no idea what kind of work you do, but do you have a sense of how much revenue you create for your employer? If so, do you feel that the portion of that revenue that goes to you, compared to the portion that goes to the owner, is reasonable?

    In a free market, if you generate (after all expenses other than your compensation) $100 an hour for your employer and your employer pays you $80 an hour, it would make sense for one of their competitors to hire you for $81, thus increasing their profits by $19. Then another competitor should offer you $82 to increase their profits by $18, and so on until competition over your labor has raised your compensation (including benefits and whatnot) to $99. That is how it is supposed to work. In fact, that is one of the main reasons a capitalist system is a good idea- people get paid roughly what they're worth. And, for most of US history, that is exactly what did happen. Up until about the mid 1970s, you would see a tiny blip in productivity where the average after expenses productivity would go up from say $45/hour to $46/hour and within a few months, the average compensation would go up from say $42 to $43 or so. In the relatively rare cases where productivity fell slightly, income fell the same amount. Companies have always taken profits, so the compensation was always a bit below the productivity, but only a couple/few bucks and hour.

    But that stopped happening. Since the mid 1970s, productivity has increased roughly 300%, but income has only increased about 40% (both adjusted for inflation). Today, our average compensation is less than half of our after expenses (including after taxes) productivity.

    So, while I love the idea of raises being driven by merit, that doesn't seem to be reality anymore. Seems to me like bargaining power rather than merit drive raises these days. Employers tend to have market positions or monopoly power that they can leverage to hold off competition for their employees and that gives them the leverage to dictate wages far below what the employees are actually worth. If we could return somehow to a situation where workers were again receiving something close to what they were worth, we would see the median income double or more. That would be amazing. But just pretending it already is happening doesn't get us there. We need to be thinking more creatively about how to even negotiating power back up and instill more competition.
    Actually, I do believe the $6000/year merit raise I received accurate reflects it. In order to get it, I actually have to do something first to earn. What you might find interesting is that I didn't have to bargain for it or provide any leverage. My employer came to me and said because of what I had done and what was expected of me, the amount if what I would be receiving above what I was making now.

    The best way to have negotiating power is to offer something to the one doing the paying. If someone has such a low skill level that what they do is one step above what a monkey could be trained to do, they don't have any.

    As for merit raises not being reality to you, I can tell you than handing someone a raise because they exist isn't reality. It's a handout without anything to tie it to.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative65 View Post
    Share the wealth my ass. You want the government to mandate it and sharing doens't come from a mandate.
    I forgive you for not reading my previous posts....or even understanding the current posts where I say that it should be that workers have enough influence to get increases based on merit but that when it does not happen due to multiple policies that have limited influence then it has to happen via "mandate", otherwise you have civil and economic instability.



    Tell you what, go into business and prove you believe what you say by paying someonen with $5/hour skills $20/hour. Until you do, butt out of what someone else should be paying an employee.
    You keep falling back to your ever changing goalposts concerning individual bottom quintile individuals while failing to come to any sort of understanding of long term macro consequences of Randian supply side economics.
    Quote Originally Posted by trouble13 View Post
    If you wanna know why Trumpsters are ignoring you its for the same reason you ignored the KKKs complaints about Obama.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    When it comes down to it, all facts are cherry picked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    He didn't say it didn't make sense. He said it is complete nonsense.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    The problem there is so many people will view that as full blown socialism, which is akin to the boogey man.
    That essentially what I argued in my recent thread.

    But to them I ask: How is it socialist to simplify our tax code? How is it socialist to be able to keep the fruits of your labor? How is it socialist to pay for what you take?
    "Men did not make the earth ... it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." -- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice
    http://www.wealthandwant.com/

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Gimmesometruth View Post
    I forgive you for not reading my previous posts....or even understanding the current posts where I say that it should be that workers have enough influence to get increases based on merit but that when it does not happen due to multiple policies that have limited influence then it has to happen via "mandate", otherwise you have civil and economic instability.



    You keep falling back to your ever changing goalposts concerning individual bottom quintile individuals while failing to come to any sort of understanding of long term macro consequences of Randian supply side economics.
    Workers do have enough influence to get raises based on merit. Your problem is that you think it's your place to determine what level those raises should be when it comes to another person's business. That you think the government should mandate it proves that Liberals believe if people don't do something to their standards, the government should make them.

    What you fail to understand about either doing yourself by going into business what you demand others be even forced to do shows your nothing more than a good intentioned, do nothing loudmouth, bleeding heart Liberal that should either put up of STFU.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative65 View Post
    Workers do have enough influence to get raises based on merit.
    Sure they do, which explains stagnate wages since 1980.


    your (sic) nothing more than a good intentioned , do nothing loudmouth, bleeding heart Liberal that should either put up of (sic) STFU.
    Well said.

    Your problem is that what I have put forward (all of the argument and stats) are ignored.
    Quote Originally Posted by trouble13 View Post
    If you wanna know why Trumpsters are ignoring you its for the same reason you ignored the KKKs complaints about Obama.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    When it comes down to it, all facts are cherry picked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    He didn't say it didn't make sense. He said it is complete nonsense.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    bump...
    Quote Originally Posted by Gimmesometruth View Post
    Sigh...lets explore some data:







    Quote Originally Posted by trouble13 View Post
    If you wanna know why Trumpsters are ignoring you its for the same reason you ignored the KKKs complaints about Obama.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    When it comes down to it, all facts are cherry picked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    He didn't say it didn't make sense. He said it is complete nonsense.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Gimmesometruth View Post
    You are showing your Randian colors, "taxation is theft".



    Yeah, we have a pretty good deal right now, wage stagnate for 90% since 1980.

    Wonderful.
    Wages are stagnant because labor chooses it to be so ... as hard as that is to swallow, it's true. If you want more, ask ... I sure as hell ain't going to volunteer it. But, if you ask, remember that you open up other avenues for me. Believe me, you'll know when you've asked for too much ... you will have to commute to China.

    You want the government to do something you're not willing to do yourself ...
    We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.
    - Orson Welles

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative65 View Post
    Actually, I do believe the $6000/year merit raise I received accurate reflects it. In order to get it, I actually have to do something first to earn. What you might find interesting is that I didn't have to bargain for it or provide any leverage. My employer came to me and said because of what I had done and what was expected of me, the amount if what I would be receiving above what I was making now.
    So you believe that the from one year to the next, you increased the amount of revenue you drive for the company by about $6k? Not sure if that question really even makes sense, since I don't know what you do, but if it does make sense in the type of work you're in, and you did indeed bring in say $6k or $7k or $8k more of revenue than the previous year, I would agree that sounds like a very fair raise. That said, in my experience, in most companies, in order to get a $6k raise you actually need to increase your value more like $50k or $100k/year. If that isn't the case at your employer, that's great, and you should stick with them! But, if you are in a kind of work where it is harder for you to estimate how much more revenue you drove and you're just guesstimating that $6k sounds like a fair raise, you might actually be getting totally screwed and not realizing it, as most people are in these things statistically speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative65 View Post
    The best way to have negotiating power is to offer something to the one doing the paying. If someone has such a low skill level that what they do is one step above what a monkey could be trained to do, they don't have any.

    As for merit raises not being reality to you, I can tell you than handing someone a raise because they exist isn't reality. It's a handout without anything to tie it to.
    You seem to be trying to reduce our positions to binary positions where you're saying raises are driven by merit and I'm saying people should just get raises for existing. That isn't an accurate description of our positions at all. Of course merit has a big impact on raises and gives you negotiating power. And of course people shouldn't just get raises for existing.

    What I am saying is that the impact of having high merit is becoming diluted. It used to be, and is supposed to be, that $1 more merit translates into almost $1 in additional compensation, but in reality it appears to not be working that way any more. These days, the norm is more like $1 of additional merit gets you, on average, $0.44 in compensation. You have millions of people who, for example, generate $350k/year in after-expenses revenue, make $55k/year, and are just glad they have a job. That isn't how that is supposed to work in a capitalist economy. Definitely increasing your merit will still cause your income to increase, just not by as much as it should or as much as it used to.

    So, I think it is key to look at the reasons that has fallen apart like that and address them. That doens't mean just giving raises for existing or whatever, that means taking steps to restore a freer market for labor with more competition and more even negotiating power. That is the opposite of paying people for existing. I am saying compensation should be more closely tied to performance, not less.
    Last edited by tuhaybey; 10-01-14 at 04:13 PM.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by CalGun View Post
    So change the narrative from 1% to 10%
    Actually, between his charts he is showing you the top 10%, the top 1%, the top 0.1% and the top 0.01%.

    People talk a lot about the 1%, but really is it the 0.1% or even the 0.01% that is where the real "rich-poor" gap kicks in. Well up into the 1%, you're actually still talking about people who work jobs full time or run small businesses and make great, but still sane, incomes which are often relatively proportionate to their contributions to the economy. If somebody makes $450k/year working 70 hour weeks doing something important that they're really good at, I think they should pay sizable taxes, but I don't think that the mere existence of people in that sort of situation indicates a systemic flaw in our economy.

    Then you hit this cliff around the top 0.1% where you transition to people whose income bears little relation to their contributions. The top 0.1% is people who draw money out of the economy because they happened to land in a lucky position more than because they actually did something useful. They happened to be the sales guy when a big corporation signed up for a new office product supplier and they get 5% of the contract each year pretty much for nothing other than shaking a few hands and taking a client out to a fancy dinner, or maybe their father died and left them $40m, or maybe they gambled with other people's money in the market and got lucky and got to skim a few percentage off the top. But even that is somewhat comprehensible- some people will totally luck out. IMO they should be taxed far, far, more heavily than they are, and probably we should be looking more closely at whether that is a wise use of our GDP, but it isn't a total disaster. People this rich have always existed and probably always will.

    Where it really gets mind boggling is the top 0.01%. These are people who rake in just incomprehensible amounts of money, often literally for nothing or wildly out of proportion with what they actually do. People whose only "job" responsibility is calling up their broker once in a while to ask how much more they are worth now who are pulling in sums of money that would practically be impossible to spend. Many, or even most, of the people in this category never worked, never did anything useful, and we're wasting massive fractions of our entire nation's GDP just flooding them with money for no real reason at all. This is a systemic problem. It is sheer waste on such a massive scale that it is crippling our entire economy. Enabling this unimaginable sort of excess costs so much that working people are basically having to forego increases in their income entirely to accomodate it. This is where almost all the GDP growth for the past 15 years has gone- down this irrational black hole of graft.

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