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The wealth gap 
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Post The wealth gap
What will the irreverent son of a rich man say, or do? Surprisingly, like father, like son.

The growing wealth gap is a very visible symptom of a very disturbing problem. The wealth gap is inherently unfair. Few would deny that the world is an unfair place, and that some people should receive higher rewards for greater contributions. That means a wealth gap in itself, within reason, is healthy. But what about a constantly growing wealth gap, with the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer?

Milton Friedman, respected economist and one of the architects of the current economy (an economy that is clearly in the midst of self-destruction), says the poor are better off now than they would be otherwise. Absolute nonsense! The monetary numbers he would use to justify his statement are rigged. 2012 dollars are not the same as 1992 dollars, which are not the same as dollars from any other year! We can't even measure the difference accurately, because official figures for inflation and dollar devaluation are woefully low and dishonest. But if we could measure accurately, I suspect we would indeed find that the vast majority of people are worse off, and Milton Friedman is deluding himself and others because of the personal benefit he receives, which is a complete conflict of interest. That same conflict of interest is exactly why government inflation figures are so bogus. The wealthy profit at the expense of everyone else. Parasites rule. The rest of us are lunch.

Suppose the wealth gap was limited, so that the wealthiest among us could be no richer than 1000 times that of the poorest among us. When any one person hit the wealth limit, any additional income of his would be divided among all the people, effectively making the poor slightly wealthier and thereby raising the wealth limit. Under that simple system, a rising tide lifts all boats. The wealthy can still be wealthy, but now, everyone can benefit. The wealth gap remains fixed, and the only way to greater wealth for the wealthiest among us is to make everyone richer.

What if the wealth gap were limited to 100 times that of the poorest among us, or only 10 times? What if it were 1 times the poorest among us, and all of us contributed to the rising tide in order to enrich us all?


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Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:22 am
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Post Re: The wealth gap
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It isn’t laziness that has caused worldwide poverty, it is the disenfranchisement of millions through the perpetuation of corporate greed. Even the mega-corporation of Ben & Jerry’s, makers of the popular ice cream, once had a 5 to 1 board member ruling that the CEO would be limited to a 5 to 1 ratio of earnings over his lowest paid worker, but the company ditched this practice when they couldn’t find anyone to replace Ben Cohen, the CEO that worked for just $81,000 a year. -- source

Idiots! Any excellent idea, poorly executed, will fail. That doesn't mean the idea is a failure.

The flaw in this idea is the 5 to 1 ratio. What ratios will make this idea succeed, and what ratio is optimal for all involved?

If Ben worked for $81K per year, then the lowest paid worker was getting $16.2K per year, or about minimum wage ($8.10/hour).

What if the ratio had been set to 50 to 1? Then Ben would make $405/hour, or $810K per year. Can't find a CEO that will work for that? BS, you can find lots of them. Even I would do it. I've run my own company for 27 years, every one of them in the black.

Maybe the CEO you want requires a million dollars a year. Set the starting salary for the lowest paid employees at $10/hour, and you've got your CEO, along with some happier employees.

50 to 1 is probably not the optimal ratio, but it clearly works better than 5 to 1. A much higher ratio is probably as poor a choice as the 5 to 1 ratio. Google's CEO takes home an obscene $101 million every year. That's a ratio of 6234 to 1.

So what is the optimal ratio that will satisfy all employees and still allow a business to thrive? And if humans are so smart, why haven't we solved this very simple economics problem? And don't give me any of that "free market" BS. There are no free markets wherever sociopaths are running the show, and that's what we've got. At the very least, we need to places limits on them. A 100 to 1 ratio seems like a good place to start.

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Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:07 am
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Post Re: The wealth gap
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The combined fortune of the world's billionaires now stands at $6.5 trillion, up from $3.1 trillion in 2009, according to the Billionaire Census. -- source

Ummm..... No.

It's much worse than that.

Quote:
Retired management consultant Gaylon Ross Sr, author of Who's Who of the Global Elite, has been tipped from a private source that the combined wealth of the Rockefeller family in 1998 was approx (US) $11 trillion and the Rothschilds (U.S.) $100 trillion. -- source

The Rockefeller family is worth some $20 trillion at last count, probably more, given how the "little" billionaires are faring so well while the vast majority of humanity sinks into deeper poverty. And the Rothschild family is worth over $200 trillion, when you add it all up. You see, the controlled media titillates the public with the Billionaire Census, but say nothing about the Trillionaire Census. That's because the trillionaires own the media, and just about everything else, from governments down to billionaires, and further down to individuals, including you and me. And they want that bit of news kept quiet.

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The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, ­lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. -- George Carlin

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Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:16 pm
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Post Re: The wealth gap
Have the Swiss been reading the posts in this thread?

They are set to vote on limiting the wealth gap in their country to a 12 to 1 ratio!

Quote:
On November 24, the Swiss will vote on whether to take a further step -- limiting executive pay to no more than 12 times the lowest salary in the company. Such a maximum wage policy allows the CEO pay increases, but only if workers get at least a twelfth as much. -- source

Go, Switzerland!

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." -- Margaret Mead

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Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:11 pm
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Post Re: The wealth gap
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The wealthiest 400 people in the United States had their combined net worth grow thirteen percent to $2.29 trillion this year...

The new figures of wealth in America were generally buried in the media. Neither the New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal published an article. Nor has it been a topic in political campaigns, one month before the midterm elections. Neither big-business party has an interest in calling attention to the extraordinary levels of social inequality in the US, with endless claims that there is no money for basic social services.

Since then (2008), the wealth of the richest sections of society has soared while the annual income of the typical household has fallen by five percent.

Shortly after the release of the Forbes 400, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development published a report concluding that global social inequality has eclipsed the pre-Great Depression highs during the 1920s, hitting the highest level since the 1870s and 1820s.

The survey, however, does not include the enormous growth of social inequality that has taken place over the past fourteen years. Once those changes are taken into account, it is possible that the present level of global social inequality may be the highest in the history of the modern world. -- source

From the sociopaths' point of view, that's really good progress!

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Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:12 pm
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Post Re: The wealth gap
So even the Federal Reserve calls attention to the expanding wealth gap? Is it now so bad that they can no longer deny it, but must instead announce it as if they had nothing to do with it?

Oh, that's devious, all right! Worthy of a sociopathic mind.



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Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:35 am
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Post Re: The wealth gap
Propaganda is throwing its weight around on the Internet as we are told that WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. So of course now, wealth inequality is a good thing!

Quote:
But new research from Scott Winship, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, asks readers to set aside concerns about the inequality of wealth distribution in the U.S., and ask whether the promise of outsized rewards to highly successful people might actually benefit everyone – even those near the bottom of the income distribution. -- source

I don't need to ask myself such a ridiculous question. I still remember this BS from when Ronald Reagan sold it to the public as "trickle-down" economics. Making the rich richer isn't going to reduce the wealth gap and improve equality. This is just more deception and manipulation from the rich and powerful sociopaths, for their benefit at our expense. They are duping us, just like described in 1984.

Making the wealth gap bigger is not the right direction for humanity. Making it smaller is. All wealth generated by human activity should be shared among all humans. A rising tide lifts all boats, or at least it should.

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Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:05 pm
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Post Re: The wealth gap
In the year 2000, almost 15 years ago, the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world's wealth. -- source

In just the past 3 years, never mind the other 11+ since the year 2000, 10% percent of the world's total wealth was taken by the global 1%. -- source

So now, in November 2014, I have two questions:

1. How much of the world's wealth is in the hands of the richest 10%?

2. How much of the world's wealth is in the hands of the richest 1%?

I'm not sure we can make the calculations from just the information given in the first two paragraphs, because some portion of the wealth the 1% acquired came from the lower 90% segment of the population, and some came from the rich 91 to 99% segment.

If the richest 1% got all of that money from the poorest 90%, then the richest 10% of adults would now hold 95% of the world's wealth. The rest of us all put together would only hold 5%.

If, on the other hand, the richest 1% got all of that money from the other rich people in the world's richest 10% (besides themselves), without taking any of the wealth belonging to the poorest 90%, then the richest 10% of adults would still hold 85% of the world's wealth.

I'll bet that didn't happen.

Most likely, the figure is somewhere in between those two extremes, and the richest 10% of adults probably now hold more than 90% of the world's wealth.

Quote:
Oxfam reported that just 85 people own as much as half the world. -- source

The total population of the world is about 7.1 billion. With the adult population of the world being around 5 billion, that means the richest 0.0000017% of adults (85 out of 5 billion) own half the wealth on the planet!! That seems not only obscene to me, but criminal. I suspect most of that wealth was indeed obtained by less-than-honest means. After all, we are talking sociopaths here, meaning people with no empathy, no shame, and no moral conscience.

I think we could call those 85 people the ruling elite, or more accurately, our Masters.

In any scenario, the richest people in the world clearly own the rest of us, and they can buy our cooperation in any enterprise they choose, including serving them as ignorant slaves while we falsely believe we are free. And if we don't cooperate? They pay someone else to eliminate any problem that disturbs them.

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Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:36 am
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Post Re: The wealth gap
Who are those 85 people that control half the wealth on the planet? I have a friend that expects a simple answer to that question, and if you can't come up with the properly documented list in short order, she has a swift conclusion to deliver to you.

Try reading this account of some of the financial powerhouses in the world today. If you can get through it all without losing interest or comprehension, you are probably a criminal with a vested interest in international fraud and money laundering. Normal people have their eyes glaze over after reading just a few paragraphs.

I'm sure my friend would be one of those people whose eyes would glaze over, and she would follow it up with her usual conclusion.

I doubt she could even read this short sampler:

Jardine Matheson Chairman David Newbigging sits on the International Advisory Board at Morgan Guaranty and is arguably Hong Kong’s most powerful man. Chairman of Morgan et Cie, the bank’s international division, was Lord Cairncatto; who sat on the London Committee of HSBC, was Chairman of Morgan Grenfell and member of the Inner Council at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. [6]

HSBC and Kleinwort Benson control Hong Kong’s Sharps Pixley Ward gold monopoly. HSBC owns British Bank of the Middle East, which monopolizes Dubai’s thriving gold market; Edmund Safra’s Republic Bank of New York, which dominated the old Lebanese gold markets; and Midland Bank, clearing agent for the drug-riddled Panamanian government.

My friend doesn't really want to know who the 85 people are. In fact, she simply doesn't want to know anything. Ignorance is bliss, and if you don't believe it, then conclusion.

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Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:47 am
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Post Re: The wealth gap
Lots of money helps to make us more sociopathic. Gosh, who would have imagined that?

Quote:
WHAT IS CLEAR about rich people and their money — and becoming ever clearer — is how it changes them.

A UCLA neuroscientist named Keely Muscatell has published an interesting paper showing that wealth quiets the nerves in the brain associated with empathy: If you show rich people and poor people pictures of kids with cancer, the poor people's brains exhibit a great deal more activity than the rich people's.

The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that money, above a certain modest sum, does not have the power to buy happiness, and yet even very rich people continue to believe that it does: The happiness will come from the money they don't yet have.

There is a growing awareness that the yawning gap between rich and poor is no longer a matter of simple justice but also the enemy of economic success and human happiness. It's not just bad for the poor. It's also bad for the rich. -- source

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Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:46 am
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