Income Inequality

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Foggy
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Foggy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:11 pm

TollandRCR wrote:I don't agree with Stephen Hawking that we have just 100 years to find a planet inhabitable by humans and just 200-500 years to resettle humanity on this new home.
Umm, the fastest spacecraft we've created so far goes 36,000 miles per hour - the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt.

The nearest star to us is about 25 trillion miles away - Alpha Centauri, which doesn't seem to have any habitable planets.

Best I can figure, 25 trillion divided by 36,000 is 694,444,444 hours.

Which is 28,935,185 days.

Which is 79,274 years.

Of course, it would take a lot longer to get to a habitable planet.

We're going to have to invent FTL technology if we want to travel around in the galaxy.

On the bright side, even at Warp 10 the officers on the bridge of the starship Enterprise weren't required to wear seat belts. :blink:
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TollandRCR
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:41 pm

The usual science fiction response to that fact is the "generations spaceship," in which people live their full lives in space flight, producing what they need, recycling everything, and (mandatory) having babies. It resembles Buckminster Fuller's lesson on spaceship earth: https://www.bfi.org/about-fuller/big-id ... eshipearth. Students seem to find this interesting: no PeaPod trucks will deliver things, no garbage trucks will ever be by, the only water and oxygen that the ship will have is what it started with, etc. It strikingly conveys what is almost a full truth (the qualification is that some stuff does come to the Earth from space).
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by neeneko » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:52 pm

TollandRCR wrote:The usual science fiction response to that fact is the "generations spaceship," in which people live their full lives in space flight, producing what they need, recycling everything, and (mandatory) having babies.
Yeah, 'Generation Ships' are the go-to 'science fictiony but not too obviously science fictiony' answer since it avoids the big leap of FTL drives, but actually requires even more science hand waving than the alternative. I get esp annoyed when I see people claiming we could build one today if we just had the will (read: the future not being what I want is someone else's moral failing) or funding.

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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Foggy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:59 pm

TollandRCR wrote:The usual science fiction response to that fact is the "generations spaceship," in which people live their full lives in space flight, producing what they need, recycling everything, and (mandatory) having babies.
Yes, that's often a construct in science fiction.

But (rounded) 80 thousand years. I doubt we could maintain a stable society with a stable population for even 80 years. Even if we could do perfect recycling for that long.

And how many people will be in a generations spaceship? A million? Even if you could build a ship that size, the US alone would need more than 300 of them. That's a lot of recycled beer cans or wherever the resources are going to come from. Or maybe we just leave all the poor people behind. We'll send the Trumps and the Shkrelis and the Madoffs of this world. Ew, yuck.

This is why I strongly believe there are other planets with intelligent beings out there, but I fear that without FTL technology, we'll never meet any of them.

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Re: Income Inequality

Post by neeneko » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:05 pm

Foggy wrote: But (rounded) 80 thousand years. I doubt we could maintain a stable society with a stable population for even 80 years. Even if we could do perfect recycling for that long.
Even perfect recycling would not be enough. Carrying enough fuel and atmosphere for even an 80 year trip is a bigger deal than people tend to realize. Both are things that even with perfect recycling will either be consumed or lost over time.

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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Suranis » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:06 pm

ZekeB wrote:This reads like one of those Look At How Rich I Am, Now Buy My Book And Make Me Richer ads I use to see in magazines in the 1960s.
Actually ran across an image of one of those last week. I was reading a very entertaining Project of a guy who posted one panel of the Incredible Hulk Comic book a day for a year. This is from 1970.

http://hulk365.tumblr.com/page/44

Image

Also, ladies, from around 1968, this is for you! (Yes, forgot to note the exact date!)

Image
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:40 pm

Of course, B. Fuller's point was not that we should build generations spaceships. It was that we are already living on one, and life of all forms has been on this one for billions of years.

But there are problems. We did not get an instruction manual with our generations spaceship. There is no skilled repairman to call when we mess up. There is not even a Help Desk to call. We have difficulty contacting everyone on our spaceship, and we may not be able to understand them. Some people may be pulling in opposite directions from us.

We do know that we are heading into uncharted territory: a human population of nine billion in 2050 and eleven billion in 2100. All of them will be demanding a higher standard of living, much like ours. They will seek to reduce income and wealth inequalities across and within countries. We made it into the highly developed world with the aid of 19th century technology (sometimes enhanced). If those other folk use those technologies, it might not be nice. So far we have dealt with such problems with human ingenuity and perhaps an overt willingness to bulldoze the other occupants of our spaceship out of the way (to extinction).

Maybe we can build a Dyson Sphere, encompassing our sun and providing habitat for trillions of people. There may already be one or two Dyson Spheres working. http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers ... phere-star Or maybe Jesse Ausubel can come up with an even better idea. I am less than optimistic about such solutions, but what do I know? https://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/Di%20R ... nglish.pdf

It could be that the problems of a manufactured generations spaceship would be less than the problems that we now face. Even if that is not true, we really ought to be working on problems that present themselves to us now. It is much, much more than climate change.

One of the most dangerous problems is income and wealth inequality. We currently have in place a pirate administration that seeks to increase those inequalities. I am not sure that there is an organized body that is boldly committed to reducing them.
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:22 am

Billmoyers.com
What Happened to America’s Wealth? The Rich Hid It ...

New research suggests that the superrich are hiding their money at alarming rates. A study by economists Annette Alstadsaeter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman reports that households with wealth over $40 million evade 25 to 30 percent of personal income and wealth taxes.

These stunning numbers have two troubling implications.

First, we’re missing billions in taxes each year. That’s partly why our roads and transit systems are falling apart.

Second, wealth inequality may be even worse than we thought. Economic surveys estimate that roughly 85 percent of income and wealth gains in the last decade have gone to the wealthiest one-tenth of the top 1 percent. ...

But these aren’t folks making a few dollars “under the table.” These are billionaires stashing away trillions of the world’s wealth. The latest study underscores that tax evasion by the superrich is at least 10 times greater — and in some nations 250 times more likely — than by everyone else.
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Whatever4 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:40 pm

So let's give them a yuuuge tax break. Shirley they'll hide it in OUR country this time.
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:56 pm

CBS News
Vast number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck

With unemployment in the U.S. at its lowest level in 16 years, experts are prone to talk about the economy as if it has fully recovered from the housing crash. But other measures of how Americans are doing reveal a darker picture.

Almost 8 out of 10 American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. That can force people to take on debt or otherwise struggle when an unexpected bill arises. It also raises questions about the stability of the broader economy given that consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of activity.

The survey highlights a troubling trend in household finances: More than eight years since the end of the recession, the share of Americans who are living on the financial edge is growing, said Mike Erwin, a spokesman for CareerBuilder. While some may want to blame Americans' spendthrift ways, Erwin pointed to two trends that continue to put financial stress on households: stagnant wages and the rising cost of everything from education to many consumer goods.

"Living paycheck to paycheck is the new way of life for U.S. workers," he said. "It's not just one salary range. It's pretty much across the board, and it's trending in the wrong direction."
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