Wealth Inequality in America

ShooterMcGavin

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May 25, 2005
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#1
This thing has been circulating the social networks. Not sure what I think of this video. Love how this guy somehow thinks the "socialism" segment is appealing. Yes, because everyone having the same amount of money would be ideal for the economy and maintainable. Ugh.

An eye-opener, but the guy is still kind of a douche.

 

Lord Zero

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#2
Some people have more than others. Get over it, assholes.
 

lajikal

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#3
It's funny how people defend the rich and shit on the ones that aren't even on the chart, not that they don't deserve it for the most part.
 

whiskeyguy

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#7
Here's what you can do. Tax every American 100% in 2014, and then divide the money equally among every man, woman and child, with would give the federal government $15 trillion in revenue based on our GDP (not even our national debt, BTW). Now remove the federal government's budget (assuming entitlements will cease, it will be less), which for 2013 is $3.8 trillion (25% our GDP... insane).

You're left with $11.2 trillion. When divided by 314 million people, every man, woman, and child now gets a check for $36,000.

Now what? For a family of four that's a great yearly income... $144,000. But how much of that is reinvested into production? Sure, they'll by some nice things... but remember the owners of companies ALSO only have $36,000 each, that they have to live off of also. How much of that are they going to reinvest back into hiring employees, buying raw materials, marketing, etc.

Basically, our country would fail within a year. Probably sooner because people would start bailing the minute this idiotic plan looked like a reality.

Capitalism for the most part puts money where it's most productive. Socialism/communism directs it to the areas which are least productive.
 

Owenay

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#8
Here's what you can do. Tax every American 100% in 2014, and then divide the money equally among every man, woman and child, with would give the federal government $15 trillion in revenue based on our GDP (not even our national debt, BTW). Now remove the federal government's budget (assuming entitlements will cease, it will be less), which for 2013 is $3.8 trillion (25% our GDP... insane).

You're left with $11.2 trillion. When divided by 314 million people, every man, woman, and child now gets a check for $36,000.

Now what? For a family of four that's a great yearly income... $144,000. But how much of that is reinvested into production? Sure, they'll by some nice things... but remember the owners of companies ALSO only have $36,000 each, that they have to live off of also. How much of that are they going to reinvest back into hiring employees, buying raw materials, marketing, etc.

Basically, our country would fail within a year. Probably sooner because people would start bailing the minute this idiotic plan looked like a reality.

Capitalism for the most part puts money where it's most productive. Socialism/communism directs it to the areas which are least productive.
A classic:

 

domelogic

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Feb 16, 2005
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#9
The only argument that can be made here is the difference in pay for a CEO and the average worker. That part has just gotten ridiculously out of line and for no real reason that I know of. Otherwise find a way out or dont it is up to you.

Btw I hate that guys sarcastic tone when he doesnt like something, his voice is annoying
 

VMS

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Apr 26, 2006
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#10
The only argument that can be made here is the difference in pay for a CEO and the average worker. That part has just gotten ridiculously out of line and for no real reason that I know of. Otherwise find a way out or dont it is up to you.
So?

Why does that matter? In and of itself, if you made $100k/yr, but the CEO of your company made $91 quadrillion a minute, why the fuck would you give a shit? Other than childish, bitchy jealousy?
 

Neon

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#12
I hate the term Wealth Inequality because it implies that the natural state of wealth is equal. Not only has that never been true in any society in the history of humanity, it also contradicts our natural competitive instincts, which is a purely atavistic biological process. You want to be better than others so you attract more/better females and propagate your genes.

That being said, we live in a world where the quality of services and commodities is directly correlated to their cost (which again makes total sense. Someone spends 1,000 hours building a chair, it will be better and more expensive than a chair that someone spent 100 hours building or one that someone used a machine to build in 10 minutes) and therefore the more you have, the better the services and commodities you can obtain, and you are therefore more likely to propagate your genes.

This competitive aspect brought about pretty much every single human innovation ever. Even way before the concept of wealth existed, using a rock to crack open nuts was easier than doing it with your hands, so you cracked more nuts, had more food, got more females, you get the picture.

Even people who made innovations for the good of all mankind (say, Newton's laws. Not sure how those in itself would give him a competitive advantage other than personal fame and fortune) do so to ensure a better propagation of the species - like Penicillin, for example.

So basically, both the concept of unequal wealth and the competitive instinct to attain more of it are actually the natural state, not the other way around. I understand the desire to increase the quality of life and wealth of everyone, but there still needs to be an unequal hierarchy. People should always have a higher place to aim for. Increasing the quality of life for the poor should NEVER entail decreasing the quality of life for the rich. That also assumes that wealth is finite, which isn't true.
 

whiskeyguy

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#13
The only argument that can be made here is the difference in pay for a CEO and the average worker. That part has just gotten ridiculously out of line and for no real reason that I know of. Otherwise find a way out or dont it is up to you.

Btw I hate that guys sarcastic tone when he doesnt like something, his voice is annoying
They're worth it for the most part. The average CEO has a much higher responsibility than the average factory worker or checkout girl (could either of those employees even contemplate the fate of thousands of employees resting on their decisions?). Why would stockholders pay these CEOs if they didn't think they were getting the best return for their money? Often a business will benefit more by dumping $5 million into the CEO position over dumping $5 million into 10,000 lesser positions, which only gives each of those employees another $500/year.
 

Neon

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#14
They're worth it for the most part. The average CEO has a much higher responsibility than the average factory worker or checkout girl (could either of those employees even contemplate the fate of thousands of employees resting on their decisions?). Why would stockholders pay these CEOs if they didn't think they were getting the best return for their money? Often a business will benefit more by dumping $5 million into the CEO position over dumping $5 million into 10,000 lesser positions, which only gives each of those employees another $500/year.
Not to mention that someone who starts a business isn't guaranteed success - on the contrary. He is probably more likely to fail. So his initial risk of his own capital later pays him dividends. Had his business failed, he would have lost everything. Just look at Kurt Schilling. He put everything he had into a videogame company that tanked and lost everything. Had he succeeded, he would have deserved giant profits as a reward for his initial personal financial liability risk.

By that same logic, a CEO who doesn't do his job properly causes much more financial damage than a factory worker who doesn't do his job properly. So consequently, a CEO also deserves a much bigger reward when he does the job right than a factory worker.

Personally, I'd go after actors who get paid $20 million a movie before I go after people who run multinational corporations and make $20 million a year.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#15
The CEO is the movie star of the company. The quarterback. There are only so many people who can do the job.
 

whiskeyguy

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#16
Not to mention that someone who starts a business isn't guaranteed success - on the contrary. He is probably more likely to fail. So his initial risk of his own capital later pays him dividends. Had his business failed, he would have lost everything. Just look at Kurt Schilling. He put everything he had into a videogame company that tanked and lost everything. Had he succeeded, he would have deserved giant profits as a reward for his initial personal financial liability risk.
Exactly, which is a great argument to the value of people who invest in business. CEOs of large corporations are a little different because often they're not the founders of those corporations, but yet someone employed to manage them after they went public. However there is also great risk in taking that position. If they make decisions that bankrupt the company, their careers could be over. Also CEOs are now legally responsible for what happens within the company, so if a lesser manager does something illegal, the CEO can be held criminally accountable in some situations.

This responsibility takes a certain type of person that isn't very common, so that also justifies their value (supply and demand).
 

Neon

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#17
The CEO is the movie star of the company. The quarterback. There are only so many people who can do the job.
Popular culture has taught people that CEOs do nothing. I wonder if their children who never see them would agree with that statement.
 

VMS

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#18
So basically, both the concept of unequal wealth and the competitive instinct to attain more of it are actually the natural state, not the other way around. I understand the desire to increase the quality of life and wealth of everyone, but there still needs to be an unequal hierarchy. People should always have a higher place to aim for. Increasing the quality of life for the poor should NEVER entail decreasing the quality of life for the rich. That also assumes that wealth is finite, which isn't true.
Nobody likes to hear this, but the poorest people in this country right now live better (or at least have the potential to live better, if they weren't homeless because they're fucking bughouse nuts) than the rich 200 years ago.

200 years ago, salt was a luxury. Healthcare sucked. Dentistry sucked. Food in the winter sucked. Really, food anytime other than right at harvest time sucked, and even then it sucked because most people were fucking exhausted from harvesting the food. No air conditioning, and the only heat was, at best, the Franklin stove. If you were rich enough to have that. Even if you lived in a big city, your local library sucked. Your access to knowledge and information was barely a trickle. No porn to speak of. You spent your entire life within ~5 miles of where you were born, even if you were rich. Entertainment sucked. Punch and Judy shows were actually popular.

Right now, would any of you trade places with a prosperous businessman of 1813, anywhere in the world, without future knowledge? Fuck no. No you wouldn't. Because you're not a fucking retard. Because I don't care how shitty your life is, it's a million times better than it was 200 years ago. When things were more "equal" (except for blacks, of course. And Chinese. And Native Americans. And Mexicans. Etc.).

This horrible, evil, terrible system that has created such huge disparities in wealth are why the poorest in this country live lives that would be the fucking opium dreams of the richest of the rich for the first ~4300 years of humanity's ~4500 years of history. Every other system we've tried (and I'm not against testing new ones) has only resulted in less for the poor people of our country, not more. And, yes, less for the rich, as well.
 

Discoman

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#19
Not to mention that someone who starts a business isn't guaranteed success - on the contrary. He is probably more likely to fail. So his initial risk of his own capital later pays him dividends. Had his business failed, he would have lost everything. Just look at Kurt Schilling. He put everything he had into a videogame company that tanked and lost everything. Had he succeeded, he would have deserved giant profits as a reward for his initial personal financial liability risk.

By that same logic, a CEO who doesn't do his job properly causes much more financial damage than a factory worker who doesn't do his job properly. So consequently, a CEO also deserves a much bigger reward when he does the job right than a factory worker.

Personally, I'd go after actors who get paid $20 million a movie before I go after people who run multinational corporations and make $20 million a year.
Well not all CEOs started their companies, but yeah Actors are horribly overpaid and over celebrated. Athletes too.
 

VMS

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#20
Well not all CEOs started their companies, but yeah Actors are horribly overpaid and over celebrated. Athletes too.
And sometimes keeping the company going is more difficult than coming up with the idea for the company in the first place. Just because you have a good idea doesn't mean you're the right person to keep running the company when it becomes a megacorp. The ability to run a big company well is a rare skill. Supply and demand: Joe Schmo in the cubicle is much more easily replaced than Joseph Millionaire in the corner office.
 

Neon

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#21
Well not all CEOs started their companies, but yeah Actors are horribly overpaid and over celebrated. Athletes too.
I don't agree that they are overpaid, just that relatively speaking they are more overpaid than a CEO who works 90 hour weeks 50 weeks a year. Movie companies can pay actors what they want just like big corporations can, but the people who are bothered by the overpaid upper echelon never seem to mind that the Hollywood elite makes those kinds of sums for far less actual work. Hell, some of the Hollywood elite are the ones bothered by the overpaid upper echelon of the corporate world. Anne Hathaway was down in the Occupy Wall Street protests while renting a $1,500-a-night hotel room. It doesn't even occur to them that they are monumental hypocrites.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#23
Well not all CEOs started their companies, but yeah Actors are horribly overpaid and over celebrated. Athletes too.
Go win a record number of games in your first five years as a quarterback. Then have a record post season and win the Super Bowl MVP award just as your contact is expiring.

See? It's easy to make $20 million a year playing football. Everyone should do it!
 

Discoman

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#24
Go win a record number of games in your first five years as a quarterback. Then have a record post season and win the Super Bowl MVP award just as your contact is expiring.

See? It's easy to make $20 million a year playing football. Everyone should do it!
Just because I can't do it doesn't mean its worth 20 million dollars. Oh boy, a guy threw a ball really well so now Sportscasters and fifth graders can have their talking points.