View Poll Results: How much income inequality is TOO much income inequality?

Voters
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  • I am left-leaning, and there is too much income inequality right now.

    126 40.65%
  • I am left-leaning, and the current level is acceptable, but should not be higher

    1 0.32%
  • I am left-leaning, and I don't think there should be a limit on the level of income inequality.

    2 0.65%
  • I am a centrist, and there is too much income inequality right now.

    93 30.00%
  • I am a centrist, and the current level is acceptable, but should not be higher

    5 1.61%
  • I am a centrist, and I don't think there should be a limit on the level of income inequality.

    2 0.65%
  • I am right-leaning, and there is too much income inequality right now.

    66 21.29%
  • I am right-leaning, and the current level is acceptable, but should not be higher

    9 2.90%
  • I am right-leaning, and I don't think there should be a limit on the level of income inequality.

    6 1.94%
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Thread: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

  1. #101
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric7216 View Post
    Second reply on this subject. And basically a rant.
    The US has successful destroyed any sense of community over my lifetime.
    Is it really America or the American government? Or are we victims of our own success? When kids leave home nowadays, they don't stay in the same town - they move to other states, often on the other side of the country. How many older couples do you know whose kids all live in the same town or even the same county? That, and how many of us spend time watching TV or on the computer or watching movies or going other places instead of spending time with our neighbors?


    We can't say "Merry Christmas" without offended someone.
    That's not true at all. I don't celebrate Christmas (our faith doesn't accept Christmas), but I'm not at all offended - I just say "Happy holidays" in return. Same goes with everyone else of our faith.

    We can't say the Pledge of Allegiance.
    Again, that's not true at all. The difference is, we can't force people to say it.

    We can't say a "prayer" even though a prayer is nothing more than an expression of hope or affirmation. We probably can't even have a moment of silence.
    Depends. I remember going to a school where the morning prayer was broadcast over the class speakers. How would most people react if a group of Muslim kids wanted to have theirs broadcast over the class speakers?

    Of course that's not the way it is now. The key is "separation of church and state". There are many, many religions who don't accept Christmas or Easter or the alleged divinity of Jesus (all of which are examples of what we in our faith face). We are taxpayers like anyone else - we don't cause trouble (we see breaking the law itself as a sin)...and we serve as an example of why there is such a thing as separation of church and state: nobody's taxes should be used in any way to support one particular religion over others...which means that places that are supported solely by our taxes - like schools and courthouses and such - should not be places where anyone is pressured to take part in the religious practices of others.

    And with the end of the draft nothing forces us to mingle with people not like us.
    Huh? You must not live in any truly sizable city. In less than 15 years more than half of all Americans will be a minority of some sort.

    And btw - don't look wistfully back to the days of segregation - it's not good, and only serves to increase the racism and other prejudices. Been there, done that, lived it first-hand. It's a long story.

    We can burn the flag.
    I am retired Navy - do not doubt my patriotism. And while I get angry at someone burning the flag, I also know that it's a piece of cloth, that their act does not in any way threaten America or her sovereignty. I know their act doesn't hurt me or anyone else...but only says a great deal about the ones who are doing it. I also know that what goes around, comes around.

    We can protest when two mangled I-beams are put together in some "t" shape.
    Yet in WWI, people were jailed outright for saying we shouldn't get involved in that war. Our right - our RIGHT - to peacefully protest whatever it is we want to protest is FAR more important than almost anything we might protest against.

    Don't want to offend anyone.
    Which is more important - the freedom to discriminate, or freedom from discrimination?
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  2. #102
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    I have never believed in gods or angels, or, for that matter, peace, love, and hope. Anything intangible. I believe in neurology, psychology, sociology, economics, and the physical sciences. I don't even believe in pain and suffering, which are nothing more than lack of rationality to a stoic or lack of enlightenment to a Buddhist. But these rituals, icons, and symbols like the flag, religion, etc. bind us together and I think are needed to have a mutually supportive society. All we have is multiculturalism and diversity which is kind of a crock because we really don't want any multiculturalism that doesn't match what we want. Then we call it hate speech or something, further fragmenting us.
    It is good and proper to respect the religious beliefs of others...but it is wrong to give any one of them preference over the other in our schools, our courts, our city halls. What we're left with is, do we allow all of those faiths to insert what they want? Do we allow displays of Hindu shrines or Shi'a Muslim icons in our schools alongside the displays of Christmas mangers? Or do we disallow all of them?

    It's an all-or-none thing - we can't go halfway.

    So we are left with a fragmented society that sees little in common and sees little reason to sacrifice in the hope of helping someone else.
    I would say that the fragmentation isn't due at all to multiculturalism...but due to our own success, our own ability to travel and work wherever in the nation we want to. This is IMO the reason why most people put their parents in nursing homes now. I told my kids that if they're going to do that to me, never mind, just leave me beside a forest and let me walk away and die somewhere in the forest.

    Laws can do something but at some point the Bill Gates' of the world simply decide that they don't have to have American citizenship and take their money elsewhere. Even the wealthiest have to feel some fairness in the system. If I were a billionaire I would look around and say that I would rather assist the 2.4 billion people who live on less than $2/day.
    Same here - and that's what we do. But instead of giving money directly to our family members overseas who are poor, we help out with their medical care and education...but not much else.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  3. #103
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric7216 View Post
    Thank you for your 3 responses. I realized that you would point out the smallness/city-state type but those were the countries ahead of the US in per capita income. And I was somewhat joking about the power of religion and a monarchy. But still, looking at your list some things do stand out. Most of those countries do have a common language, common religion in some cases, common ethnicity. In short, they seem somewhat homogeneous. And they can take advantage of Hamiltonian evolution which suggests that we have evolved to help other LIKE US. I have always felt that social customs are stronger than laws. Yet the US prides itself on being diverse and multicultural. We don't want to be known as a Christian country. We can't even decide on an official language.
    I really, really like Dan Carlin's Hardcore History series, and in his latest installment he points out that during WWI, there were 52 German-language newspapers just in the American Midwest...which means that historically speaking, the idea of an 'official language' is fairly new and not supported by our national history. If you have the time, listen to his "Wrath of the Khans" series - it's still free, and it's a real eye-opener.

    That said, if you travel around the world, you'll see American influence everywhere - and I mean everywhere. In my travels, the only place I ever had difficulty communicating in English was Japan...but now, if you watch Japanese-language anime with subtitles (meaning, it was made for a Japanese audience), you'd be surprised at how many English words are now a part of it. In other words, while America is becoming more multicultural, the world as a whole is homogenizing. For example, my wife and I watch HGTV's "House Hunters International" quite a bit, just to see what the other nations are really like...and to me it's shocking (and more than a little disappointing at some level) to see people from Australia, England, and especially Ireland speaking with accents that sound more American than from their respective native lands.

    I found it odd that in my list of countries (city/states) richer than the US all were similarly homogeneous with the exception of Singapore which is diverse, with 4 official languages and 3 major ethnicities. And those 2, US and Singapore, are the ones with high GINI coefficients.
    (Switzerland is arguably diverse with 4 languages and 3 major ethnicities but it has been Switzerland so long that there is a Swiss culture. Plus I can't tell a French from a German from an Italian)
    Again, Singapore is a city-state and can't really be used as a proper model for comparison to a major nation. And while you may not be able to personally tell one European from another, they certainly can do so! Many among the French will tell you in no uncertain terms how the Germans are different (and probably lesser), and vice versa. The same goes for most of the nations of Europe.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  4. #104
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    I think that it is harder for the US to achieve good equality because little binds us together. We don't feel that we are in the same boat. Clearly we can't stand one another-just read these type websites. Laws can force equality to a point but maybe it will never be like Denmark.
    (Canada may be an outlier with a fairly diverse society. Perhaps all those Maple Leafs and hatred/dislike of the US binds them, as well as the British Commonwealth).
    I recommend looking back at our history. This may sound strange, but our modern political conduct is more polite - yes, more polite- than during much of our history, and certainly more polite than during the days not long after our founding when assaults and fistfights among congressmen on the floor of the Capitol were not that unusual. And publicly-espoused racism by our politicians only began really diminishing in the 1970's.

    The top 10 countries with low GINI are: Sweden, Slovenia, Montenegro, Hungary, Denmark, Czech Rep, Norway, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Austria. All of those have high tax rates. All except Hungary and Austria have less debt as % of GDP than the US. They are fiscally conservative. One of the sad development, IMHO, is that now Democrats are on the tax cutting bandwagon. (Except when it comes to 1%). I don't think that the course that we are on, with low taxes for almost all, and expensive entitlement programs, is sustainable.

    (And I should point out that having equality and an average income of $11,900, as in Montenegro, may not be better than the US average of $52,800.)
    You really think those nations are "fiscally conservative"? I think all the ones you listed have universal health care, very healthy public transportation systems, and very strong welfare systems, much stronger than our own. Perhaps Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia don't have strong welfare systems, but I'm pretty sure of the rest. If they are "fiscally conservative" in any way, it's probably in that they don't have to spend nearly as great a percentage of their tax revenue on national defense...and so are able to use that money to be more fiscally sensible in other areas.

    Concerning Montenegro, a low GINI score doesn't guarantee great national prosperity...but as we can see, most of the most successful national economies (as measured by their respective standards of living) do have low GINI scores. Or, to put it the way I've been saying for years, having big government, high taxes, and strong regulation doesn't guarantee first-world democracy status...but looking at the nations of the world, it sure looks like one can't be a first-world democracy without big government, high taxes, and strong regulation.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  5. #105
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Where did I say that a good economy MUST be one where the pie is divided evenly? I never said that or anything that included words to that effect.

    That said, all I'm doing is pointing out that the best economies on the planet, the ones with the highest standards of living, DO strongly tend to be the ones where "the pie is divided (more) evenly".

    You don't have to like it...but that's the facts.
    You commented about harming the economy, but your data were all about income equality and social mobility, which are almost the same thing. What's your definition of a good economy?
    If you expect people to be rational, you aren't being rational.

  6. #106
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpg View Post
    You commented about harming the economy, but your data were all about income equality and social mobility, which are almost the same thing. What's your definition of a good economy?
    A good economy is one in which there is a truly significant middle class, where there is a high standard of living - meaning that even the vast majority of the poor are not living in third-world conditions.

    A nation that does not have all that...is not a successful nation. China does not have that yet...but they're working on it (which is one reason they had a nine-day traffic jam a couple years back), which is why the wages there have risen to the point that there are many manufacturers who are leaving China and bringing the jobs back to America - they've found it's cheaper in many ways to manufacture things here instead of paying the Chinese and for shipping the (usually lower-quality) goods back here to America to sell.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  7. #107
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    A good economy is one in which there is a truly significant middle class, where there is a high standard of living - meaning that even the vast majority of the poor are not living in third-world conditions.
    Now that you clarified that, what evidence do you have to refute the theory that big government, higher taxes, and strong regulation are harmful to an economy?
    If you expect people to be rational, you aren't being rational.

  8. #108
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    Re: So How Much Income Inequality is TOO Much Income Inequality?

    The only problem I have with this poll is I can fit into both of these:

    I am left-leaning, and there is too much income inequality right now.
    I am left-leaning, and I don't think there should be a limit on the level of income inequality.


    I voted for the first, because I think it most accurately represents my views, but I mean that from a salary standpoint, not a wealth standpoint. For instance:

    Bill Gates builds a machine. Machine revolutionizes computing. Bill Gates' company goes public. Bill Gates has major stakehold in company. Bill Gates is a multi-billionaire. That I am fine with. What I am not fine with:

    Roger Goodell runs runs a "non-profit" company known as the National Football League. He makes 10s of millions of dollars a year, the league pays no taxes, and its janitors I'm sure don't have a living wage. That I am not fine with. Then again, I'm just a jelly monster.
    Ted Cruz is the dumbest person alive.

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