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supervike

Wealth Distribution.

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Posted (edited)

http://www.snotr.com...tribution_in_US

Very interesting video. It's only 6.5 minutes long, but is telling in the fundamental problems in our country.

Yes, very interesting, but very uninformative.

How did the top 1% EARN that money?

How did the poor end up and stay poor?

How many of "the poor" stay poor because they don't want to actually have to work and know if they remain poor then the government will take care of them?

The video makes it seem as if peple just get money for no reason. Yes, there are rich people who inherited their wealth, but he majority of t 1% actually earned their wealth.

The fundamental problem in our country is that people are beginning to think they are entitled to the wealth of others.

Edited by IamsSon
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Thanks for posting this video. :tu:

Yes, very interesting, but very uninformative.

How did the top 1% EARN that money?

How did the poor end up and stay poor?

How many of "the poor" stay poor because they don't want to actually have to work and know if they remain poor then the government will take care of them?

The video makes it seem as if peple just get money for no reason. Yes, there are rich people who inherited their wealth, but he majority of t 1% actually earned their wealth.

The fundamental problem in our country is that people are beginning to think they are entitled to the wealth of others.

Isn't the whole "wealth distribution" thing a SOCIALIST thing?

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Yes, very interesting, but very uninformative.

I disagree. The scope of the video wasn't to demonize the rich or the poor, but to show that the reality is in far excess of what 9 of 10 peoples idea of what 'fair' is. It's shocking. There is no real equal opportunity for people when the gaps are that pronounced.

In the reverse of your argument, How many of the 'Rich' are kept rich because of favorable laws, buying votes, or the accumulation of power?

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I disagree. The scope of the video wasn't to demonize the rich or the poor, but to show that the reality is in far excess of what 9 of 10 peoples idea of what 'fair' is. It's shocking. There is no real equal opportunity for people when the gaps are that pronounced.

In the reverse of your argument, How many of the 'Rich' are kept rich because of favorable laws, buying votes, or the accumulation of power?

If there were no accounts of poor Americans becoming wealthy through hard work and dedication, you might, possibly, have a point, but given that throughout the history of our country, even today, there are real rags-to-riches stories the idea that there is no real equal opportunity is ridiculous. The fact that there are people who showed up on our shores with little more than the clothes on their backs from Vietnam in the late 70's who are now wealthy enterprenuers, people who grew up in the poorest parts of Appalachia who have made a name for themselves, from the worst project housing in the large inner cities, are living proof that equal opportunity is alive and well, for those willing to work and sacrifice and persevere.

What people think is "Fair" is absolutely meaningless and useless.

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What people think is "Fair" is absolutely meaningless and useless.

I think you raise great points, and I'm not taking anything away from self-made people....but neither is the video. It is only serving to show the unbelievably huge gap. A gap that wasn't there in past generations of Americans.

Anyhow, I only quoted that particular sentence of your post because I think that is a misnomer as well. We live in a nation of laws and policies, what people think is 'Fair' is completely meaningful. It is the basis of countless of those laws. We, the people, are the ones that determine the 'fairness'. We don't live in a jungle, where only the toughest survive.

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Did anyone watch that show that was on History called "The Men Who Built America"? One person who worked from rags to riches was John D. Rockefeller.

Rockefeller was the second of six children born in Richford, New York, to William Avery Rockefeller (November 13, 1810 – May 11, 1906) and Eliza (Davison; September 12, 1813 – March 28, 1889). Genealogists trace some of his ancestors to French Huguenots who fled to Germany in the 17th century.[9][10]

His father--first a lumberman, then a traveling salesman--billed himself as a “botanic physician” and sold elixirs. The locals referred to the mysterious but fun-loving man as "Big Bill," and "Devil Bill".[11] He was a sworn foe of conventional morality, who had opted for a vagabond existence and who returned to his family infrequently. Throughout his life, William Avery Rockefeller gained a reputation for shady schemes rather than productive work.[12]

Eliza, a homemaker and devout Baptist, struggled to maintain a semblance of stability at home, as William was frequently gone for extended periods. She also put up with his philandering and his double life, which included bigamy.[13] Thrifty by nature and necessity, she taught her son that "willful waste makes woeful want."[14] Young Rockefeller did his share of the regular household chores and earned extra money raising turkeys, selling potatoes and candy and eventually lending small sums of money to neighbors. He followed his father’s advice to "trade dishes for platters" and always get the better part of any deal. Big Bill once bragged, "I cheat my boys every chance I get. I want to make ‘em sharp."

What a Father Figure! (sarcasm)

Or what about Cornelius Vanderbilt?

Vanderbilt was born in Staten Island, New York and began working on his father's ferry in New York Harbor as a boy, quitting school at the age of 11. At the age of 16 Vanderbilt decided to start his own ferry service. According to one version of events, he borrowed $100 from his mother to purchase a periauger (a shallow draft, two masted sailing vessel). However, according to the version of the first published account of his life, published in the magazine Scientific American in 1853, the periauger belonged to his father and he received half the profit. He began his business by ferrying freight and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan.
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Posted (edited)

I think you raise great points, and I'm not taking anything away from self-made people....but neither is the video. It is only serving to show the unbelievably huge gap. A gap that wasn't there in past generations of Americans.

Why does it matter? No, the purpose of the video is to get you to think it is somehow simply unfair that some people "get to have" all this money. They don't simply "get to have" it though, they've EARNED it. Nobody gave it to them, they are providing a service or a product that others are willing to pay for.
Anyhow, I only quoted that particular sentence of your post because I think that is a misnomer as well. We live in a nation of laws and policies, what people think is 'Fair' is completely meaningful. It is the basis of countless of those laws. We, the people, are the ones that determine the 'fairness'. We don't live in a jungle, where only the toughest survive.

Sure, fairness in treatment is fine, but when one begins to think that someone's finances are fair or not fair, that is when the idea of "fairness" becomes meaningless. It would only be meaningful in a socialist/communist environment where everyone is "supposed" to receive an equal share from Big Brother. But as anyone who actually grew up in Cuba, the USSR, or China can tell you, the financial equality only means that everyone who is not part of the ruling elite is equal in their poverty. Edited by IamsSon
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Posted (edited)

It matters because if that sort of gap goes unchecked, eventually all of us will be the 'poor' and 1% will control everything. Money=power.

I think that is a bigger danger to let that go than to equally distribute all the wealth (and no one is suggesting that).

I refuse to think that all rich folks are some sort of noble, pull themselves up by their shoestrings sort, and all poor folks are lazy layabouts waiting for the guvment check to clear. There are rich folks that did nothing to earn it, just as there are poor folks that just can't get a break.

We complain about the economy, when the true problem is right there in the video. A quickly shrinking working class is not the way forward.

Edited by supervike
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It matters because if that sort of gap goes unchecked, eventually all of us will be the 'poor' and 1% will control everything. Money=power.

I think that is a bigger danger to let that go than to equally distribute all the wealth (and no one is suggesting that).

I refuse to think that all rich folks are some sort of noble, pull themselves up by their shoestrings sort, and all poor folks are lazy layabouts waiting for the guvment check to clear. There are rich folks that did nothing to earn it, just as there are poor folks that just can't get a break.

We complain about the economy, when the true problem is right there in the video. A quickly shrinking working class is not the way forward.

OK, so in your opinion what is the problem?
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Sure, fairness in treatment is fine, but when one begins to think that someone's finances are fair or not fair, that is when the idea of "fairness" becomes meaningless. It would only be meaningful in a socialist/communist environment where everyone is "supposed" to receive an equal share from Big Brother. But as anyone who actually grew up in Cuba, the USSR, or China can tell you, the financial equality only means that everyone who is not part of the ruling elite is equal in their poverty.

Communism/Socialism didn't work too good in Russia, did it? :sm

We complain about the economy, when the true problem is right there in the video. A quickly shrinking working class is not the way forward.

That's for sure. Nobody wants to work. Nobody wants to take responsibility. THAT is what is wrong. We need MORE people who are willing to WORK, to make something of themselves. It also doesn't help when there are no friggin' JOBS out there. You can have an incredible work ethic, but unless you have a JOB, you have no way to feed yourself or your family. The government knows, that people don't bite the hand that feeds them. So, the MORE people that are on welfare, the better they like it. No wonder our economy is going down the drain so fast. They also know as long as they keep giving them more food stamp, and TANF money they give this people, the more content and happy they will be. "Why work when the government will take care of you?" they think. Not to mention the free phones.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian."

- Henry Ford

You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together. -- Henry Ford

As long as we look to legislation to cure poverty or to abolish special privilege we are going to see poverty spread and special privilege grow. -- Henry Ford

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It is bizarre to think that you could believe that any one person could have earned thousands of times more than the average working man. has he done a thousand times more work. Is his work a thousand times more valuable.

The reality is that almost all of those people were born into wealth and learn't how to use money to make more money. he learnt a set of tricks which allows him to multiply money by slight of hand. He has not worked harder - he has worked to his advantages of birth and initial capitol.

Its not begrudgery or socialism to expect that you shouldn't be able to amass such wealth by dint of birth and having the initial capitol. Its living in a system where the rich have defined the rules in such a way to allow them to remain rich and grow richer simply by having money.

There is no reward for effort in the American system, otherwise the Middle class would not have seen their wages stagnate for the last 30years whilst the wealthy have seen their pot expand exponentially in the same period.

Defending the rich at this time is like defending the devil for deceiving the world into thinking he doesn't exist. There are devils and they wear pin stripped suits.

Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

It is bizarre to think that you could believe that any one person could have earned thousands of times more than the average working man. has he done a thousand times more work. Is his work a thousand times more valuable.

The reality is that almost all of those people were born into wealth and learn't how to use money to make more money. he learnt a set of tricks which allows him to multiply money by slight of hand. He has not worked harder - he has worked to his advantages of birth and initial capitol.

Its not begrudgery or socialism to expect that you shouldn't be able to amass such wealth by dint of birth and having the initial capitol. Its living in a system where the rich have defined the rules in such a way to allow them to remain rich and grow richer simply by having money.

There is no reward for effort in the American system, otherwise the Middle class would not have seen their wages stagnate for the last 30years whilst the wealthy have seen their pot expand exponentially in the same period.

Defending the rich at this time is like defending the devil for deceiving the world into thinking he doesn't exist. There are devils and they wear pin stripped suits.

Br Cornelius

I completely disagree.

Anyone from any background can be successful or a failure - it is all based on hard work, intelligence, or motivation. Many born with a silver spoon in their mouths lose it all and many from meager backgrounds go on to make millions and in some cases billions.

The opportunity is there if you are simply motivated enough to make it happen.

In my line of work - I've been in higher education fundraising for more than 20 years at some of the top schools in the US - I encounter people on a daily basis who came from absolutely nothing and have built tremendous companies an careers. Just yesterday I had lunch with a guy who grew up in the poorest area of Upstate New York - one of eight children, father left them, mother lived on minimum wage, they were so poor they didn't have heat in their home - he came to the university where I work and along with two classmates developed the technology that became Mapquest/Google Maps/etc. A multi-million dollar company that ended up being purchased by Pitney-Bowes and employs thousands. And people like this are not the exception to the rule. As I said, I see folks like this every single day.

So I don't buy this notion that the rich man is keeping the poor man down. The only thing keeping the poor man (or any man for that matter) down is himself.

Edited by Rafterman
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I completely disagree.

Anyone from any background can be successful or a failure - it is all based on hard work, intelligence, or motivation. Many born with a silver spoon in their mouths lose it all and many from meager backgrounds go on to make millions and in some cases billions.

The opportunity is there if you are simply motivated enough to make it happen.

In my line of work - I've been in higher education fundraising for more than 20 years at some of the top schools in the US - I encounter people on a daily basis who came from absolutely nothing and have built tremendous companies an careers. Just yesterday I had lunch with a guy who grew up in the poorest area of Upstate New York - one of eight children, father left them, mother lived on minimum wage, they were so poor they didn't have heat in their home - he came to the university where I work and along with two classmates developed the technology that became Mapquest/Google Maps/etc. A multi-million dollar company that ended up being purchased by Pitney-Bowes and employs thousands. And people like this are not the exception to the rule. As I said, I see folks like this every single day.

So I don't buy this notion that the rich man is keeping the poor man down. The only thing keeping the poor man (or any man for that matter) down is himself.

This ^

My family had nothing when they came to Canada except a suite case of clothing each. They had lost everything to the communists. Yet they worked hard, managed to scrape by, and now all of my family range from upper middle class to rich. While a lot has to do with luck, hard work still goes a hell of a long way. I was raised with a good work ethic - i worked summers to pay my own way through university and I am now graduating, dept free and with a good chunk of money to my name and a job already lined up. So it can be done if you have the motivation/work ethic/intelligence to do so.

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Posted (edited)

I would not begrudge people who work hard their just rewards, but it is a fantasy to say that most people ended up that way by dint of hard work.

The country you live in has always had a ruling elite of monied capitalists since the day it was founded. They are a club who set up America to serve them and placed within it the myth that anyone can do just the same if they just work hard.

Society is more than the driven people who want to form multi-million dollar businesses and to set up a society which only serves the needs of those people is a huge diservice to the 99% of the rest who just want to do an honest days work for a living wage.

The wealth disparity within America is not the only way and is a symptom of a broken society driven by people who have no conception of the ordinary persons lot.

Its not even very efficient as it wastes the huge human potential that lies untapped in the growing number of dispossessed unemployed and poor who become a burden on society rather than an asset. There are better ways and a certain degree of strategic planning of the economy pays dividents in overall social cohesion and productivity. As I always do, I point to the relative success of Germany as an example of a socially responsible form of capitalism which discourages such socially divisive wealth disparity.

If America fails to solve its wealth inequality crisis I guarantee that you will be plunged into civiil unrest the like of which you have never seen before.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius
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May I suggest people google 'from homeless to millionaire'? It happens a lot more frequently than people think.

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May I suggest people google 'from homeless to millionaire'? It happens a lot more frequently than people think.

Such mythologising is a critical part of keeping the whole show on the road - its the "American Dream" writ large.

The exception doesn't break the rule.

Br Cornelius

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Such mythologising is a critical part of keeping the whole show on the road - its the "American Dream" writ large.

The exception doesn't break the rule.

Br Cornelius

So all of the people, I personally know, that have gone from being on public assistance or almost homeless to making a great deal of money are a myth? I guess there are just a higher percentage around here because I know quite a few.

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Posted (edited)

It is bizarre to think that you could believe that any one person could have earned thousands of times more than the average working man. has he done a thousand times more work. Is his work a thousand times more valuable.

Are you really this ignorant? Do professional athletes work thousands of hours more than a janitor at the stadium? Does Barbara Streissand work thousands of hours more than the sound engineer at her concert? No to both questions yet Ms. Streissand makes gobs more money than the sound engineer. Why? Because people are willing to pay significant amounts of money to hear her sing, but would probably not notice if sound engineer A or sound engineer Z was the one managing the system. Does tham mean the sound engineers are inferior people to the singer? Not at all.
The reality is that almost all of those people were born into wealth and learn't how to use money to make more money. he learnt a set of tricks which allows him to multiply money by slight of hand. He has not worked harder - he has worked to his advantages of birth and initial capitol.
Actually, the reality is that most of the 1% earned their wealth, inheritors make up less than 15% of the 1%. Source
Its not begrudgery or socialism to expect that you shouldn't be able to amass such wealth by dint of birth and having the initial capitol. Its living in a system where the rich have defined the rules in such a way to allow them to remain rich and grow richer simply by having money.
It most certainly is begrudgery. That is exactly what it is, because there are too many who earn their wealth; there are too many who dig their way out of poverty (almost all who do are people who refused to rely on "government assistance" and instead went to work with their hands and/or minds). Now, if you're talking about Cuba, China, or Venezuela, where a few elite keep the masses poor and stupid while they rob their country's wealth to enrich themselves, then in that situation there is definitelt a great deal of unfairness.

There is no reward for effort in the American system, otherwise the Middle class would not have seen their wages stagnate for the last 30years whilst the wealthy have seen their pot expand exponentially in the same period.

Are you kidding? Capitalism is all about reward. The reduction, if any really exists, is due to governmental intervention, with politicians helping out their contributors.
Defending the rich at this time is like defending the devil for deceiving the world into thinking he doesn't exist. There are devils and they wear pin stripped suits.

Br Cornelius

:w00t: Edited by IamsSon
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So all of the people, I personally know, that have gone from being on public assistance or almost homeless to making a great deal of money are a myth? I guess there are just a higher percentage around here because I know quite a few.

I wish it was just in your area, but I'm sure you are aware that this happens nationwide. One of the talk radio shows in our area sent a guy to the unemployment office to interview people. They ran into a guy driving a Mercedes SLR who was picking up his unemployment check!

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Yes, very interesting, but very uninformative.

How did the top 1% EARN that money?

How did the poor end up and stay poor?

How many of "the poor" stay poor because they don't want to actually have to work and know if they remain poor then the government will take care of them?

The video makes it seem as if peple just get money for no reason. Yes, there are rich people who inherited their wealth, but he majority of t 1% actually earned their wealth.

The fundamental problem in our country is that people are beginning to think they are entitled to the wealth of others.

How many of the lowest of the lower class have a criminal record, a bad attitude towards others and no qualifications?

There lies the real reason for the income disparity - We make our own futures!

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I think you raise great points, and I'm not taking anything away from self-made people....but neither is the video.

I got that feeling. But what "I" thought before the clip was reality. In terms of the chart in the clip, does "all of that wealth" benefit this nation better being concentrated in the hands of the few or does it benefit more by being redistributed? I believe that it benefits us in the former. Redistribution of wealth just wastes a valuable resource. If it is concentrated as in investment, it provides a better environment for the individual to succeed on his own.

It is only serving to show the unbelievably huge gap. A gap that wasn't there in past generations of Americans.

This is the disconnect. What does it matter how big the gap gets as long as both are rising? What would this chart look like if it included the world? And where would our poorest be located on this chart?

In the ideal, poverty is a temporary situation and should only encompass the bottom 5% in a healthy economy. The poverty line currently sits at 15%. But by comparing the 6%-15% to the rest of the world, it's clear that they can still take care of themselves to some degree. So that raises the question, how much does anyone need to live on? This chart already shows that it is not very much. But there is a caveat to this. At the other end you have the wealthy with more money than they know what to do with. But the intangible here is that this concentration of wealth allows that poverty line to meander upward and still allow the individual the ability to take care of themselves. And that's key. That gives those in poverty more time to pick themselves up and improve their situation. Without this concentration of wealth, they would end up lingering in poverty. The question for the individual is then, how does one go get it? The wealth of the wealthy may dwarf even the middle class but this is a non sequitur measure.

Anyhow, I only quoted that particular sentence of your post because I think that is a misnomer as well. We live in a nation of laws and policies, what people think is 'Fair' is completely meaningful. It is the basis of countless of those laws. We, the people, are the ones that determine the 'fairness'.

And that sounds like majority rule or mob rule. You do realize that our Founding Fathers did everything to keep us from being a Democracy? They knew what Democracies evolved into. And they warned us about the extremes of Democracy. Everyone has an opinion of what fair is but the minute it imposes some restriction on someone else, then does it remain fair?

We don't live in a jungle, where only the toughest survive.

Actually we do. That is the nature of the beast. This in not some Socialist Utopia where we are all sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya. We are hunters and the jungle is where we thrive in. This is our nature. Not being corralled like cattle. Even the inner city takes on characteristics of the jungle.

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Posted (edited)

I wish it was just in your area, but I'm sure you are aware that this happens nationwide. One of the talk radio shows in our area sent a guy to the unemployment office to interview people. They ran into a guy driving a Mercedes SLR who was picking up his unemployment check!

Oh no...I'm not talking about that. They needed help at one time, but didn't stay on it any longer than they had to. I'm talking about people that have started legitimate businesses and didn't have a dime to their name. They make a very good living now. We know one guy that used to come by our welding shop picking up scrap parts, that we didn't need or want, to use for his inventions. He now has patents for seven different items and was offered a great deal of money for two of them. He didn't even have a car and walked miles a day to find what he needed for his ideas. His persistence certainly paid of.

Edited by Michelle
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The one thing about those that inherit their wealth... If they are not capable of managing that wealth they lose it. So those that keep it, earn it. Most of the wealthy came from poverty. Names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan… Today we have Buffet, Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg. They realized their skill and talent and pulled themselves out of the mundane.

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We are first and foremost social creatures who thrive in balanced societies where the represented and the representative can see each other on almost equal terms. It is an lie to say that the social Darwinist view of the world is the only and best way to live - it is more mythology by the people who wrote the rules to make society that way.

Corruption thrives when people become guettoized into rich and poor neighbourhoods and we see our fellow citizens as our enemies.

Br Cornelius

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