Skip to main content

View Diary: Six charts of income inequality (119 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Extraction (21+ / 0-)

    Progressives define wealth accumulation as increasing the size of the pie.  

    Conservatives define wealth accumulation as getting a larger slice of the pie (fuck everyone else).

    Somethings gotta give and soon the pie slice for both will be too small to satisfy their needs or greed.

    --
    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

    by sacrelicious on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 02:28:15 PM PST

    •  The crackup comes pretty soon, I'd guess. (21+ / 0-)

      Top 10% get 50% of the country's income now, and demand that that number goes up at least 10% every year. We're either going to go full feudalism or go to the pitchforks.

      •  They won't get much more of the income... (12+ / 0-)

        ...The deeper problem is less about income than about wealth. The top 20% now has 86% of the wealth. The top 5% has 63%.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:06:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I vote for the pitchforks... (5+ / 0-)

        ...followed by some of those nifty 1950s-style tax rates on the rich.  What was it, around 70% back then?

        Since I'm wishing, let's throw these into it...

        Social Security tax on all income, not just the first $170,000 or so.

        Tax on stock transactions.

        A new, tougher (tougher than the original) Glass–Steagall Act.

        A required minimum federal tax on large corporations.  It still galls me that GE has gamed the federal tax code to such an extent, it pays no federal taxes most years.

        An increase in Social Security benefits.

        Legislation for full employment.

        True universal health care.

        Extensive unemployment benefits.

        There's more on my wish list, but I don't want to over-stress Santa.

        Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

        by rbird on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:11:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  RE (0+ / 0-)
          A required minimum federal tax on large corporations.  It still galls me that GE has gamed the federal tax code to such an extent, it pays no federal taxes most years.
          Not for nothing, but all of GE's employees and shareholders pay income and other taxes, often at very high rates. GE generates truly massive amounts of taxes.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:19:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  GE (7+ / 0-)

            I've seen GE describes as one of the world's largest hedge funds.

            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

            by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:28:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, for nothing. (10+ / 0-)

            The entity 'Employee X' pays taxes, but the entity 'GE' doesn't. The shareholders pay less in taxes than X does, unless they are major shareholders raking in huge amounts of money. In which case they've also paid some one to hide/write-off a large part of their liability.

            In the meantime GE sucks up the taxes paid by X, and the lesser shareholders in (often) fixed bids and subsidies.

            It's sophistry to equate GE with either their shareholders or their employees. Fact is, the bastards are getting away without paying their fair share.


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:54:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The test is simple (0+ / 0-)

              If GE didn't exist, would the treasury have more money or less? The answer is obvious.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:56:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Better the non-sophist test: (14+ / 0-)

                If GE paid all its taxes, didn't get insider contracts, didn't hide its wealth offshore, and didn't get subsidies, would the treasury have more money or less?

                After all, if GE didn't exist wouldn't other businesses come into being to fill the gap? And would they hire and spend? Of course that would happen.


                Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                by Jim P on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:01:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, it's certainly obvious (7+ / 0-)

                The treasury would have much more money. Because the business that is currently transacted by GE, who produces most of its products overseas just like everyone else, would be taken up by many smaller providers, all of which would be less able to game the tax system for their own benefit.

                Or perhaps you believe in some other economic system than I do, one where demand for non-revolutionary products goes unfulfilled when some giant abusive company doesn't exist to deliver them?

                •  GE does everything within the law (0+ / 0-)

                  The funny part here is all the argument about GE paying its fair share or not is a tacit acknowledgment that GE and companies like it are the only available source of wealth.

                  If we didn't depend on them so much, there wouldn't be so much criticism of them paying their fair share. In reality, business ultimately pays 100% of the bills 100% of the time.

                  This is getting a little far afield, but I'm just a little surprised that the argument is that businesses who already provide 100% of our sustenance aren't providing enough.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:25:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Re: (10+ / 0-)
                     that businesses who already provide 100% of our sustenance
                    Business don't. Labor does.

                    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                    by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:30:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Increasingly not (0+ / 0-)

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:36:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Besides (0+ / 0-)

                        "Labor" itself is worthless. There are tons of places teeming with labor. You need an organizing principle and management to corral that labor into producing something of value to someone. You need management, technical experts, etc.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 05:59:47 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Labor (9+ / 0-)
                          "Labor" itself is worthless.
                          A statement which goes against every law of economics.
                          You need an organizing principle and management to corral that labor into producing something of value to someone.
                          True, but a meaningless statement. Capital is always "worthless" without labor producing something with it.

                           My statement above still stands. Businesses don't produce anything. Labor does.

                          None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                          by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 06:08:24 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  My writing and maintaining code is not some (6+ / 0-)

                          form of labor that deserves to be compensated??

                          •  Without a customer or corporation... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...to employ you it is.

                            And I have no idea if it deserves to be compensated. It deserves to be compensated if you can find someone to pay you for it.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:42:38 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  exactly like a commodity (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nchristine, gjohnsit, rbird

                            produced by a corporation.
                            Business does not exist without labor. Organization of labor was the beginning of business.
                            Labor, however, can exist without a business to organize it. Like washing the dishes or planting a garden.
                            It's not a chicken>egg situation here. Business harnessed an existing resource (physical labor) and built a proxy system (commerce) to harness and control it, not to provide anyone with sustenance.

                            Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                            by kamarvt on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 05:11:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That can be said about any 'occupation'. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LeftOverAmerica
                          •  Labor compensation? (0+ / 0-)

                            The key element is the assignment of compensation, elevating some well beyond their true "value" and holding others beneath theirs.
                            Example; A CEO dies, and the corporation continues to perk along like a fine machine.
                            Now, all the labor vanishes, and the Corp grinds to a stop.
                            WHICH is more valuable?
                            The fact the CEO can set his own compensation, is the only controlling factor in his earnings. And, the fact the CEO sets the compensation of his labor force, is the largest controlling factor in theirs.
                            It takes a balance as to just how high the pay is for labor, understood, but, when compensations at the top, and stockholders increases massively, and pay for workers stays unchanged, or worse reduced, pensions looted or killed, and higher deductions for healthcare , thus reducing take home pay, you have to ask yourself how can these circumstances happen within the same company? How is it, the top wages can increase astronomically, while they can't afford to even maintain flat wages for their workers? They DO in fact NEED those workers, but, rely upon the antilabor fervor of the right to make job need, the controlling factor to keep dissatisfied workers in their business by extortion of starving or taking a beating during good times, their best and only option. This helps explain the GOP effort to kill unions, and unemployment insurance, as well as welfare. Make people as desperate as you can, remove all options to the abusive work terms and voila, the people will work for you under YOUR terms, no matter how futile it is, in their behalf.

                        •  Regions like Germany thrive with "labor". (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gjohnsit, rbird

                          Operational leaders like Deming, Juran, Gyran all proved the importance of labor, and it is labor that makes the improvements and controls on operational performance. So welcome back to reality, where expansionary monetary and fiscal policy should get used to actually build a portfolio of sound business. What we have now is a too powerful economy of finance and a stagnate set of old corporations working tirelessly to stop any disruptive innovation or expansions of generic volume. I am amazed how worthless that "libertarian" ideals are. We'll have the magical corporate executive save the world.

                          Even the industrial revolution was spurred by the clerks not some aristocrat plotting the next world war.

                  •  Wonderful News! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gjohnsit

                    Business ultimately pay 100%of the bills! That is great. Lets drop all income tax, sales tax, user fees etc. and asses the total cost of running the country to the businesses. That would free up so much spending power the consumers could actually buy things again.

                    (sarcasm)

                    •  Re (0+ / 0-)

                      Business pays all income taxes, sales taxes, user fees, etc.

                      Try paying those fees without a job. Even though "you" pay it, ultimately some business does.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 09:32:57 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Paying their fair share (0+ / 0-)

                    You frame it as, by paying their wages, their obligation is over. In part, you are correct, except for the fact they are also collecting tax subsidies from the pay of their employees, which seems odd, and in fact reduces what their employees have to spend.
                    As for businesses such as GE being the only source of revenues, you can collect if from the destitute, or from the profitable businesses that have it. Which cupboard would YOU look in? We could start by simply cutting the tax subsidies, reducing the hole in our resources to maintain the nations best interests. Why would welfare to billion dollar corps make more sense than that to the poor?
                    As for the 100% of sustenance paid by GE, after deducting the portion paid by taxpayers, they are NOT paying 100%, WE pay a portion, just like those working for Walmart.

                    •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                      As for the 100% of sustenance paid by GE, after deducting the portion paid by taxpayers, they are NOT paying 100%, WE pay a portion, just like those working for Walmart.
                      No, that part is paid for by other corporations.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:40:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  GE wind turbines: 60% US content (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Words In Action

                  #1 in the world wind turbine market.

                  .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                  by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:02:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  91% top marginal tax rate from '45 -- '64 (10+ / 0-)

          Data from here:
          http://www.cch.com/...

          Of course, there were many more deductions allowed - even car loans were tax deductible back then, IIRC (cite needed). And a whole lot more going to charities from rich folks.

          Ray-gun managed to screw over the whole federal income while increasing spending on the cold war.  May he (and his traitorous crew) rot in hell.

          --
          Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

          by sacrelicious on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 04:26:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  92% in 1945 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rbird, YucatanMan, radical simplicity

          70% is 1970's.

          SS income cap will be $117,000 for 2014

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 08:00:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your first four wishes seem more guesses about how (0+ / 0-)

          to raise revenue to pay for your last four wishes than something positive to wish for.  Taxing the rich may be necessary to raise the revenue to pay for higher Social Security benefits, full employment, true universal health care, and more unemployment benefits; but is of no direct benefit to the poor or middle class.

      •  Unfortunately, the wrong people will be punished (0+ / 0-)

        The mildly well-to-do who actually work for a living will find themselves pitchforked, the truly rich top 10% will hop on their corporate jets and weather the storm in another country on some lovely beachfront property behind a series of gates.  After it's over, they'll come back and snap up some prime real estate at low, low bargain prices left behind by the mildly well-to-do who got pitchforked.

    •  What bothers me is that conservatives are bad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hardwroc

      jealous of those worse off than themselves.  They want the whole pie for themselves and the poor exterminated.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site