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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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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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:56 am

CAP
New Census Data Show Household Incomes Are Rising Again, But Share Going to Middle Class Is at Record Low

The latest Census Bureau data show that for the second straight year, the typical U.S. household saw its income rise in inflation-adjusted terms in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration, and incomes have now recovered to approximately pre-Great Recession levels. The median U.S. household income was $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from real 2015 levels.

While the data contain some good news, the overall story is still quite bleak.

Median household income is now at roughly the same level it was in the late 1990s—meaning that household income has been effectively stagnant for two decades. Furthermore, 2016’s higher level of income when compared to years prior to 2013 could be partially driven by the survey’s redesign in 2013, which resulted in finding higher incomes than the previous survey design. It also represents a very small share of economic growth over this period.

The majority of gains continue to go to those at the very top, and most households—regardless of education level or race—continue to see little income growth. In 2016, the share of the nation’s income going to the top 5 percent hit a record high, while the share going to the middle class—the middle 60 percent of households—fell to a record low. Since 1967, the first year that the Census Bureau began releasing income-share data, the middle class has never received a smaller share.

On the positive side, the data show that lower-income workers have made gains in recent years and that the poverty rate has fallen dramatically postrecession, suggesting that policies such as increasing the minimum wage can make a significant impact on people’s income but that much more needs to be done. Unfortunately, the policies that the Trump administration is pursuing are unlikely to raise incomes for most Americans.
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:39 am

Axios
The large parts of America left behind by today's economy

Economic prosperity is concentrated in America's elite zip codes, but economic stability outside of those communities is rapidly deteriorating.



What that means: U.S. geographical economic inequality is growing, meaning your economic opportunity is more tied to your location than ever before. A large portion of the country is being left behind by today's economy, according to a county-by-county report released this morning by the Economic Innovation Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization. This was a major election theme that helped thrust Donald Trump to the White House.
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:19 pm

CNBC
The top 1% of Americans now control 38% of the wealth

America's top 1% now control 38.6% of the nation's wealth, a historic high, according to a new Federal Reserve Report.

The Federal Reserve's Surveys of Consumer Finance shows that Americans throughout the income and wealth ladder posted gains between 2013 and 2016. But the wealthy gained the most, driven largely by gains in the stock market and asset values.

The top 1% saw their share of wealth rise to 38.6% in 2016 from 36.3% in 2013. The next highest nine percent of families fell slightly, and the share of wealth held by the bottom 90% of Americans has been falling steadily for 25 years, hitting 22.8% in 2016 from 33.2% in 1989.

The top income earners also saw the biggest gains. The top 1% saw their share of income rise to a new high of 23.8% from 20.3% in 2013. The income shares of the bottom 90% fell to 49.7% in 2016.
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:37 am

Business Insider
Inequality is getting so bad even Wall Street is starting to pay attention

It’s a sign of just how extreme US and global wealth inequality has become that even the folks on the winning side of the class war are starting to worry about it.

Citi Research has released a new in-depth report on inequality, its causes and potential solutions alongside Oxford University’s Martin School.

The report’s emphasis on "why inequality matters" is especially striking, because it reflects a widespread shift in American discourse about the issue following the Great Recession and financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Before then, the issue of inequality was largely ignored by much of the economics profession, and most certainly on Wall Street. Now, the issue has become a major driving force of US and European politics, forcing even large financial institutions to come to grips with its implications.

The report's findings are striking, if unsurprising, given the flood of alarming headlines on rising inequities. ...

Moreover, the rise is ubiquitous. Inequalities have been rising "between regions, between generations, between industries, and between firms."
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:06 pm

The Guardian
World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn

The world’s super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century, when families like the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast fortunes.

Billionaires increased their combined global wealth by almost a fifth last year to a record $6tn (£4.5tn) – more than twice the GDP of the UK. There are now 1,542 dollar billionaires across the world, after 145 multi-millionaires saw their wealth tick over into nine-zero fortunes last year, according to the UBS / PwC Billionaires report.

Josef Stadler, the lead author of the report and UBS’s head of global ultra high net worth, said his billionaire clients were concerned that growing inequality between rich and poor could lead to a “strike back”.

“We’re at an inflection point,” Stadler said. “Wealth concentration is as high as in 1905, this is something billionaires are concerned about. The problem is the power of interest on interest – that makes big money bigger and, the question is to what extent is that sustainable and at what point will society intervene and strike back?”

Stadler added: “We are now two years into the peak of the second Gilded Age.”
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Re: Income Inequality

Post by Addie » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:04 am

Quartz
The Paradise Papers leak is about one thing: growing inequality ...

For the common citizen, the real-life effects of these developments are hard to pinpoint. In the long run, it may mean that governments are able to collect more taxes from the rich than they were able to before—because much of what these papers reveal are clever tricks to avoid taxes. But that’s not the main reason why you should care about these leaks.

For the real reason for watching (and worrying) about what happens next in the offshore empire, we can turn to the leaker of the Panama Papers. Known by the pseudonym John Doe, he broke his silence a month after the leaks were published. He said he leaked the information because he was worried about “income inequality” and “understood enough about their contents to realize the scale of the injustices they described.”

What Doe is getting at, as one expert told me, is the difference between the “letter of the law” and the “spirit of the law.” According to the letter of the law, much of what offshore law firms do is legal. But is it in the spirit of the law? Is it just? Is it fair?

Doe’s view is that allowing the rich to avoid taxes is going against the spirit of the law. These safe havens—and the routes that lead to them—were created for historical reasons. In the 1970s, offshore routes could be used for hiding an individual’s money from corrupt governments or helping banks move money to manage currency-rate fluctuations. But thanks to highly paid, smart lawyers, offshore routes are now being abused. Doe believes that the rich people who can afford to protect themselves using these routes are committing “injustices.”

This is why we ordinary citizens should care about the offshore empire. If it were a question of legality, the solution for how to deal with those implicated would be easier: Perhaps we’d taken them to an international forum that holds criminals accountable, for example. Instead, the question is about fairness—and the solution to it is much more complex.
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