Income inequality is bad for nearly everything!




 
--
Boots
 
September 8th, 2011  
perseus
 
 

Topic: Income inequality is bad for nearly everything!


Why do most politicians still believe that a wide disparity in income is necessary for a functioning society, whilst the evidence suggests exactly the opposite?

Results collated across a range of rich countries* and US States show that greater income equality improves the overall quality of life in societies.

Perhaps the greatest surprise of all is that even the better off benefit through greater equality, albeit not as much as the poor. For example the top quarter are healthier and better educated in more equal societies.

These results suggest that policies aimed at making rich nations richer are doomed to failure unless they address income equality.

For example, the evidence suggests that if we halved inequality [in the UK]:
- Murder rates could halve
- Mental illness could reduce by two thirds
- Obesity could halve
- Imprisonment could reduce by 80%
- Teen births could reduce by 80%
- Levels of trust could increase by 85%

(I expect the benefits would be even greater in the US)

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why

*50 richest countries. Countries without comparable data and those below 3 million population are excluded (to avoid tax havens).
September 9th, 2011  
RayManKiller3
 
smaller inequality is good for the economy, that is definately a fact, but most people are divided on how to make such a gap smaller.

We have many ways to do such a thing. People suggest taxing rich higher than the less wealthy, but then those on the other side for some reason believe that is unfair. Some suggests a flat tax, which will not work. It will overburden those who are less weathy and/or decrease revenue.

Basically, its class warfare and it is very difficult to end in either side's victory.
September 9th, 2011  
George
 
Yup! Class warfare. The only way Govt can make income equal is to make everyone equally poor. Wealth can't be given to everybody, it has to be earned individually. The so called "progressive" tax is class envy/warfare & helps to create a cieling keeping the poor from moving up. If a flat tax puts a bit of burden of the poor, that'll motivate them to do better.
--
Boots
September 9th, 2011  
RayManKiller3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Yup! Class warfare. The only way Govt can make income equal is to make everyone equally poor. Wealth can't be given to everybody, it has to be earned individually. The so called "progressive" tax is class envy/warfare & helps to create a cieling keeping the poor from moving up. If a flat tax puts a bit of burden of the poor, that'll motivate them to do better.

Sorry, but that is quite a stupid statement. Flat tax will overburden those with less money earned, even if they tried to do better, it will be impossible because the wealthy wants highest possible profits. It is very difficult to motivate people into thinking they will get a great pay when so few of a population holds majority of the wealth. This creates poverty and poverty goes nowhere. No one said wealth should be given to everybody, just wealth should be more distributed and not focused on a minority of a country's population.

The progressive tax is not class envy for those that see through politics. The progressive tax seeks to distribute wealth more than what we see now. Trickle-down economics is false, it don't work. Anyone who believes in trickle-down economics haven't paid attention to the U.S's situation in which the wealthy got tax cuts and profitted more while the less fortunate people lost more.

You seem conservative now that I see this as your second post arguing against government.
September 9th, 2011  
perseus
 
 
I agree Ray. Here are what the Authors say to the queston Can income differences really be changed?

Quote:
...Governments in all rich countries control close to 40 percent of economic activity: they cannot avoid affecting income differences. The increase in inequality in both Britain and the USA almost certainly reflects the neo-liberal economic policies of the governments in power. Differences in “market incomes” – that is income before taxes and benefits – can be reduced by strong trade unions, by minimum pay policies, by employee representatives on the board, by a public ethic intolerant of the “bonus culture” and so on. They can also be reduced by taxes and benefits, particularly if more stringent action is taken to prevent tax avoidance. Other less direct influence on income differences include education policies and the management of the national economy.
http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/...uestions#money

The real problem is that no mainstream party in the UK or US really supports greater equality since they are mainly funded by rich individuals and businesses who threaten to move abroad if threatened with greater taxation or legislation. Equally important in the UK are the media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch who provide the propaganda campaign to support these unpatriotic threats. Unfortunately the electorate lap it all up.
September 10th, 2011  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
Sorry, but that is quite a stupid statement. Flat tax will overburden those with less money earned, even if they tried to do better, it will be impossible because the wealthy wants highest possible profits. It is very difficult to motivate people into thinking they will get a great pay when so few of a population holds majority of the wealth. This creates poverty and poverty goes nowhere. No one said wealth should be given to everybody, just wealth should be more distributed and not focused on a minority of a country's population.

The progressive tax is not class envy for those that see through politics. The progressive tax seeks to distribute wealth more than what we see now. Trickle-down economics is false, it don't work. Anyone who believes in trickle-down economics haven't paid attention to the U.S's situation in which the wealthy got tax cuts and profitted more while the less fortunate people lost more.

You seem conservative now that I see this as your second post arguing against government.
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
I agree Ray. Here are what the Authors say to the queston Can income differences really be changed?


http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/...uestions#money

The real problem is that no mainstream party in the UK or US really supports greater equality since they are mainly funded by rich individuals and businesses who threaten to move abroad if threatened with greater taxation or legislation. Equally important in the UK are the media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch who provide the propaganda campaign to support these unpatriotic threats. Unfortunately the electorate lap it all up.
"Less Fortunate" is a way to rationalize the unfairness of taking money from the productive & giving it to the unproductive. It promotes the falsehood that the rich are rich by sheer luck, & the poor through lack of luck. There are some that benifited from luck, but most wealthy earned the money & it's unethical to take their money & give it to someone else. In reality it is nothing more than vote buying & class envy, as I said, the Govt can't make everybody rich but it can make everybody poor. There are a lot of Counties that have systems based on Feudal era Merchantilism where the King/Govt/Head of state grants economic opportunity to his chosen few. that is where there are a few truly rich & most are poor, throw in some Socialist/Communist Govt controlled economy & you have a recipe for widespread equality of misery. Obama has commanded the Green Tech is the future, but it isn't economicly viable & he's got a black thumb of disaster in the Industry. Even if the Govt siezed all income over 250K the Govt would still run a deficit this year. Even if they confinscated the Riches wealth & distributed it evenly it wouldn't amount to any "Change of lifestyle" for anyone. Just everyone equaly poor. The Fair Tax is the only fair tax. Under the current system you do have people who limit their income because of tax brackets or income cielings on benifits that keep people dependant on the Welfare State & the 1st thing that Obama & the Dems did when in total power was end the Clinton Era welfare reforms that limited time on the dole, don't let the dependant escape!
September 10th, 2011  
perseus
 
 
Don't fall for the productive fallacy. Many of the rich are being paid completely out of proportion to their effort, skill or even benefit to the economy. Bankers are an obvious case, but evidence suggests that corporate renumeration does not relate to performance. In essence we have a defunct system where executives try to maximise their short term pay at the expense of the long term prospects of the company.

Equality isn't about paying more to benefit claimants, but to the hardest working people of all, cleaners, waitresses, farm labourers, clerks, even the low to middle earners such as most servicemen and nurses the list is endless. These people are the bedrock of society.

Unfortunately the Conservative dominated media whine on and on about the lazy unemployed, sometimes it is true. However, do you notice they omit other categories of unearned income, in particular the vast amount lost through tax avoidance and evasion. Only the rich can afford to pay devious or corrupt accountants. One of the main mechanisms is the 'offshore' industry. Tax justice estimates the amount of funds held offshore by individuals is about $11.5 trillion. You know something is definitely wrong when the richest Man Warren Buffet complains he is not paying enough Tax!

All this tends to miss the point though, we are talking about reducing inequality which all the evidence suggests benefits everyone, surprisingly even the rich.
September 10th, 2011  
RayManKiller3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
"Less Fortunate" is a way to rationalize the unfairness of taking money from the productive & giving it to the unproductive. It promotes the falsehood that the rich are rich by sheer luck, & the poor through lack of luck. There are some that benifited from luck, but most wealthy earned the money & it's unethical to take their money & give it to someone else. In reality it is nothing more than vote buying & class envy, as I said, the Govt can't make everybody rich but it can make everybody poor. There are a lot of Counties that have systems based on Feudal era Merchantilism where the King/Govt/Head of state grants economic opportunity to his chosen few. that is where there are a few truly rich & most are poor, throw in some Socialist/Communist Govt controlled economy & you have a recipe for widespread equality of misery. Obama has commanded the Green Tech is the future, but it isn't economicly viable & he's got a black thumb of disaster in the Industry. Even if the Govt siezed all income over 250K the Govt would still run a deficit this year. Even if they confinscated the Riches wealth & distributed it evenly it wouldn't amount to any "Change of lifestyle" for anyone. Just everyone equaly poor. The Fair Tax is the only fair tax. Under the current system you do have people who limit their income because of tax brackets or income cielings on benifits that keep people dependant on the Welfare State & the 1st thing that Obama & the Dems did when in total power was end the Clinton Era welfare reforms that limited time on the dole, don't let the dependant escape!

So getting millions of dollars in bonuses when they were already rich in the beginning while the economy sinks (at the same time, laying off and/or firing people) is more ethical than taxing them higher? That sounds a little silly to me. I thought I told you there is no such thing as a fair tax. The Flat tax is a disasterous policy. In order to keep the economy from tanking, the government would need less than 17% flat tax; this will decrease its revenue, furthering the deficit. It has already been proven with statistics that flat tax is economically unsuitable with such big gaps in wealth. If the country didn't have such a gap, then the flat tax would work to a certain degree.

Just so you know, not as many people abuse the welfare reform as many put out there and even then, it is not the thing that burdens the U.S as a country. Making welfare limited time can also have bad effects especially when the jobs are decreasing.

Green tech is the future if people are willing to invest in it. Saying green tech is viable is like saying computers and the internet isn't viable when they were discovered. With more investments there would have been way more improvements on green energy than we see now in U.S. Without investment prices will stay high as well. When computers came along, no one at the time thought that in just 2+ decades that most western world will own a PC/MAC.

Using "less fortunate" is not a way to describe becoming rich as lucky. Man if you don't see a problem with 5% of a country as big as USA holding most of the wealth, I don't know what to say. We are in this debt crisis because of lowering taxes.
September 11th, 2011  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayManKiller3
So getting millions of dollars in bonuses when they were already rich in the beginning while the economy sinks (at the same time, laying off and/or firing people) is more ethical than taxing them higher? That sounds a little silly to me. I thought I told you there is no such thing as a fair tax. The Flat tax is a disasterous policy. In order to keep the economy from tanking, the government would need less than 17% flat tax; this will decrease its revenue, furthering the deficit. It has already been proven with statistics that flat tax is economically unsuitable with such big gaps in wealth. If the country didn't have such a gap, then the flat tax would work to a certain degree.

Just so you know, not as many people abuse the welfare reform as many put out there and even then, it is not the thing that burdens the U.S as a country. Making welfare limited time can also have bad effects especially when the jobs are decreasing.

Green tech is the future if people are willing to invest in it. Saying green tech is viable is like saying computers and the internet isn't viable when they were discovered. With more investments there would have been way more improvements on green energy than we see now in U.S. Without investment prices will stay high as well. When computers came along, no one at the time thought that in just 2+ decades that most western world will own a PC/MAC.

Using "less fortunate" is not a way to describe becoming rich as lucky. Man if you don't see a problem with 5% of a country as big as USA holding most of the wealth, I don't know what to say. We are in this debt crisis because of lowering taxes.
People getting excessive bonuses really isn't any of the Govt's business, it's between them & the Board of Directors or shareholders. Obama threats to target specific individuals for increased taxes seems near criminal IMHO. By saying the poor are "less fortunate" it is implied that the rich are rich because of "fortune", not skills, knowledge & hard work & good planning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Don't fall for the productive fallacy. Many of the rich are being paid completely out of proportion to their effort, skill or even benefit to the economy. Bankers are an obvious case, but evidence suggests that corporate renumeration does not relate to performance. In essence we have a defunct system where executives try to maximise their short term pay at the expense of the long term prospects of the company.

Equality isn't about paying more to benefit claimants, but to the hardest working people of all, cleaners, waitresses, farm labourers, clerks, even the low to middle earners such as most servicemen and nurses the list is endless. These people are the bedrock of society.

Unfortunately the Conservative dominated media whine on and on about the lazy unemployed, sometimes it is true. However, do you notice they omit other categories of unearned income, in particular the vast amount lost through tax avoidance and evasion. Only the rich can afford to pay devious or corrupt accountants. One of the main mechanisms is the 'offshore' industry. Tax justice estimates the amount of funds held offshore by individuals is about $11.5 trillion. You know something is definitely wrong when the richest Man Warren Buffet complains he is not paying enough Tax!

All this tends to miss the point though, we are talking about reducing inequality which all the evidence suggests benefits everyone, surprisingly even the rich.
Read The Fair Tax by Lender/Boortz. If passed & enacted that 11.5 trillion would be repatriated the next day. Have heard that businesses have about 12-14 trillion in oversees profits that are unrepatriated because the Govt will grab 33% of it in taxes. That'd be about 25 billion that would come home by that alone. As already said, Buffet can write a check anytime White Liberal Guilt strikes hard enough. The Tax Code should generate the nessesary revenue with as little disruption to the economy as possible. Social engineering of any type is abuse of the Tax Code. Another benifit of The Fair Tax is ending politicians use of the Code to help businesses they like & punishing businesses they don't like. If you can divorce politics from what's best for the Country, The Fair Tax is it. Way better than the train wreck we have today. We are in this crisis because of overspending. If we confinscated all income over 250K, we'd still have a deficit, not a surplus.
September 11th, 2011  
RayManKiller3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
People getting excessive bonuses really isn't any of the Govt's business, it's between them & the Board of Directors or shareholders. Obama threats to target specific individuals for increased taxes seems near criminal IMHO. By saying the poor are "less fortunate" it is implied that the rich are rich because of "fortune", not skills, knowledge & hard work & good planning.

I think you need to read up on the definition of fortune. Fortune doesn't just mean "luck". BTW: chance always play a part in how things turn out, along with skills and knowledge, so keeping fortune out would be inaccurate as well.

You just contradicted the reason we have government. It is to make life better for the majority of the citizens of that said country. If interupting 3 guys getting excessive non-earned bonuses (after being bailed-out by taxpayers especially) helps keep economy stable, then I say go for it. It is not like I am saying keep them from getting it, I am saying tax it higher. You make it seem like most of the wealthy earned the work. You don't think most or a great deal of them got the wealth by being unethical; exploiting the system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Read The Fair Tax by Lender/Boortz. If passed & enacted that 11.5 trillion would be repatriated the next day. Have heard that businesses have about 12-14 trillion in oversees profits that are unrepatriated because the Govt will grab 33% of it in taxes. That'd be about 25 billion that would come home by that alone. As already said, Buffet can write a check anytime White Liberal Guilt strikes hard enough. The Tax Code should generate the nessesary revenue with as little disruption to the economy as possible. Social engineering of any type is abuse of the Tax Code. Another benifit of The Fair Tax is ending politicians use of the Code to help businesses they like & punishing businesses they don't like. If you can divorce politics from what's best for the Country, The Fair Tax is it. Way better than the train wreck we have today. We are in this crisis because of overspending. If we confinscated all income over 250K, we'd still have a deficit, not a surplus.
You do realize its not tax that make or break businesses right? The reason businesses hold those overseas profits is because they are exploiting cheaper labor. Even if we put in fair tax, they still won't come back to U.S because they will still make more money by giving the jobs to places like China, India, Japan, Vietnam, etc. Supply and demand make or break businesses, not tax (unless the tax is extremely high).

Right now big businesses don't even pay much in taxes thanks to loopholes in the tax code. Tell me, if they are easily avoding tax why are they running their jobs to other countries? It is because tax while influential, can not harm big businesses like they want people to believe.

People say we have a spending problem, but it is also true we have a revenue problem as well. Of the $14 trillion estimated in GDP, the government's budget is somewhere near $2 trillion
I wish we can get another person to read this and see what they think of it besides you George. We already know where the 3 of us stand in this debate.
 


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