Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Wealth Distribution


I'd be interested to hear folks' (polite) thoughts in this. Did you know that the numbers worked out this way?


K said...

I've often thought about this. It's sobering to see the effects of a country's economic policy on it's people. I'm particularly thinking of the Ottoman empire and the USSR. I had an economic history of Russia class in college, and it was certainly an eye opener. That being said, there is so much about our system that could be made so much better. Here in Tennessee, there is no state income tax. There are also very few sidewalks. There is, however, a nearly 10% tax on all food. ALL food. That, to me, is a grossly unfair tax that hurts the poorest and most vulnerable among us. If I could be ruler for a day, I would change the tax code drastically. It's also telling to look at senator's and congressmen's wealth- the ones making decisions about taxes. I'm not going to open that can of worms, though!

Anonymous said...

The current system redistributes wealth to the top 1%. It is immoral...very un-Christian in what claims to be a Christian nation. Of course the folks with the power, who arranged the system, only worship the almighty dollar.

Is wealth hoarding a sickness? Seems like there must be some pathology behind swimming in your vault full of gold ala Scrooge McDuck while others are hungry and cold.


Rabid Quilter from CA said...

I don't have anything intelligent to say. Although I'm not completely shocked by this information, it makes me sad. With more money comes more responsibility, stress and strife, things I don't want in my life. That's why I'm perfectly happy with what I have which is enough to have a comfortable life. I only hope the 1% realize how amazing it will be to give a big chunk of their legacy to change lives.

oolala53 said...

I was not shocked. I remember reading of a similar distribution, though not as drastic, when I graduated from high school in 1971. I've remained aware that the concentration has increased, and have made my high school English seniors aware when I can.

Two years ago, I asked one of those seniors, an obvious Republican, if hard work really could explain the discrepancy in salaries between a CEO and the average employee. Or the difference between the accumulated wealth of blacks and whites. It was the only thing that he ever didn't have an answer for. But I doubt it turned him around. It's hard for all of us to imagine what is actually fair in rewarding work. If you could get a lot more for what you do, wouldn't you be tempted to take it?

The idea of the American dream has many believing that one day, they might be as wealthy, and they want no part of redistributing that wealth, if they had it. They don't even understand what would be in their best interest. For instance, the inheritance laws could redistribute much wealth at the top, but the middle class supports keeping the policy the way it is, even though the vast majority of them will never have the wealth that it would take for a change to affect them. They're more interested in protecting their imaginary wealthy selves than they are in truly redistributing the assets.

And don't we, as middle class first worlders, do something similar? We take for granted being able to live a life, even a simple one, that takes far more of world resources than middle classers, never mind the poor, in the rest of the world.

I don't think it's a matter of just waking up to the reality of the stats, as the film author says. It involves waking up to the human tendency to want security and a pleasant life. And the reality that many people equate that pleasant life with excess.

But I completely agree that more people should know the reality. I think it should run at the bottom of every TV screen and computer screen, though I know that's impossible! But just that alone would only be the beginning.

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

I was not surprised when I first saw this...we've heard this statistic over and over but still, to see it so visually is disheartening and aggravating. I don't think this distribution will change, at least not anytime soon. I don't understand why anyone would need that much money...greed is an ugly ugly thing


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