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

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    Income Inequality

    It's indisputable fact that income inequality in the United States has grown substantially in the past few decades.

    Median nominal incomes, adjusted for inflation, have not gone up in the USA since the 50's. (Median is the halfway point, so we are talking about the middle-earner). In contrast, the per capita GDP has risen quite dramatically, due to the increased purchasing power of the upper echelon.


    I pose three questions to you:

    1.) What has caused this phenomenon
    2.) What are the long term implications if the trend is allowed to continue
    3.) What, if anything, should be done to adjust our course


    Thanks

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Nothing should be done, that isn't already being done. Income equality is a reality, because people aren't all equal in intelligence, drive, ingenuity, and just plain old luck. I strongly support reward for efforts, education, and industriousness, and I strongly dislike paying people for doing nothing.
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    Nothing should be done, that isn't already being done. Income equality is a reality, because people aren't all equal in intelligence, drive, ingenuity, and just plain old luck. I strongly support reward for efforts, education, and industriousness, and I strongly dislike paying people for doing nothing.
    What role does China play in this?

    For instance.... part of the reason for the stagnation of the middle class in America is that, in the past, the middle class were defined by manufacturing jobs. Today, in the interest of higher profits and lower costs, many American corporations look to China to produce the goods they sell in to the United States.

    While this strategy is good for their corporate bottom lines, and while it certainly benefits the investor class who have seen their stock portfolios blossom, it does in fact harm the job and earnings prospects of the middle class.

    One could argue that if Americans were more competitive, jobs would not need to be moved to China. To that, I would respond that while I do agree we need to be doing more to increase our competitiveness (which, by the way, is a form of "intervention"), I would also point out the role played by currency valuation and would submit that by pegging their Yuan to the US Dollar at an artificially low level, Chinese goods receive an unfair price advantage in the US market compared to domestically produced goods.

    Thus, another form of intervention I would suggest would be to work with the IMF and the world bank to put pressure on China to stop manipulating their currency.

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Increased unionization and other worker protections.
    "The side that stays within its fortifications is beaten." ~Napoleon

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    What role does China play in this?

    For instance.... part of the reason for the stagnation of the middle class in America is that, in the past, the middle class were defined by manufacturing jobs. Today, in the interest of higher profits and lower costs, many American corporations look to China to produce the goods they sell in to the United States.

    .
    China has a huge role, but we are the actual cause. People in this country want cheap Chinese crap, which has put many of our manufacturing jobs out on the curb. If Americans were willing to pay what it costs, for Americans to make our stuff, we'd have a much more true and accurate picture of economic viability.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    What role does China play in this?

    For instance.... part of the reason for the stagnation of the middle class in America is that, in the past, the middle class were defined by manufacturing jobs. Today, in the interest of higher profits and lower costs, many American corporations look to China to produce the goods they sell in to the United States.

    While this strategy is good for their corporate bottom lines, and while it certainly benefits the investor class who have seen their stock portfolios blossom, it does in fact harm the job and earnings prospects of the middle class.

    One could argue that if Americans were more competitive, jobs would not need to be moved to China. To that, I would respond that while I do agree we need to be doing more to increase our competitiveness (which, by the way, is a form of "intervention"), I would also point out the role played by currency valuation and would submit that by pegging their Yuan to the US Dollar at an artificially low level, Chinese goods receive an unfair price advantage in the US market compared to domestically produced goods.

    Thus, another form of intervention I would suggest would be to work with the IMF and the world bank to put pressure on China to stop manipulating their currency.
    It's difficult for wages to rise when illegals are allowed (encouraged) to compete for jobs with our citizens and we insist on the taxation of activities that employ people....
    I don't often change my signature, but this was just too over the top to let anyone forget with what this country is up against...
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    China has a huge role, but we are the actual cause. People in this country want cheap Chinese crap, which has put many of our manufacturing jobs out on the curb. If Americans were willing to pay what it costs, for Americans to make our stuff, we'd have a much more true and accurate picture of economic viability.
    Not very patriotic, then, to shop at WalMart....huh?

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    Re: Income Inequality

    I think the most important thing policy makers need to do is identify government policies that have created inequality, and then change or abolish them so that they no longer cause it. Others would say we need to go down the Marxist path of mass redistribution of wealth, but that would not only be incredibly destructive (economically and ethically), it would also ignore real things we should do to eliminate special advantages which have been establishment by government force.

    I also think it is important to recognize that income inequality as a concept is not a problem. It's the stagnation of a group of people economically that is the problem. If everyone's standard of living increases amid inequality, then there is no problem unless you give the concept of absolute equality moral credence (I don't).
    "I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money." -Thomas Sowell

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    Re: Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    Not very patriotic, then, to shop at WalMart....huh?
    It isn't Walmart. Go find me some AMerican made products to buy ANYWHERE. It's not easy to do. The finest clothing stores are selling Chinese crap.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Income Inequality

    Globalization and international trade is not a contributing factor, IMO. What is lost in manufacturing wages is made up by the low prices, so it evens out in terms of cost of living. Comparative advantage allows for a diversification of what is produced, thus more wealth overall is produced.
    "I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money." -Thomas Sowell

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