Author Topic: What's really going on out in the country? Why  (Read 99898 times)

Quidnon?

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #850 on: January 15, 2017, 12:55:36 PM »
Kbecks, my point had nothing to do with what people *do* with their money. It's that if you are a median worker (ie, in the middle of the distribution) *you don't make any more money now than you did in 1975*.

It's about INCOME stagnating, not poor (or good) choices with money. Plenty of people made bad choices with money 40 years ago, plenty didn't. Same now. But the pool of money grew a LOT in that time - and the median and below didn't get any of that growth.

-W

Yes and no.  The problem that I see with looking at things this way is that it assumes that Americans are more or less stuck in the class that they born into.  Which is very far from true.  We have (arguable) the least class locked society in the history of the Earth, with a huge amount of class mobility.

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21595437-america-no-less-socially-mobile-it-was-generation-ago-mobility-measured

waltworks

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #851 on: January 15, 2017, 01:34:03 PM »
I didn't say anything about class mobility, but that is a great point - it is indeed possible to move up (or down) on the income scale based on any number of factors.

That takes nothing away from the fact that middle class folks are angry about not getting any economic gains in 40 years. Real US GDP was about $6 trillion in 1977. 40 years later it's about $17 trillion. So not quite 300% higher. All of those gains went to people like me in the top 5 or 10% of the income/wealth distribution.

There is some great info in that economist article which is directly pertinent, too:
"Third, although social mobility has not changed much over time, it varies widely from place to place. In a second paper, the economists crunch their tax statistics by region. They find that the probability of a child born into the poorest fifth of the population in San Jose, California making it to the top is 12.9%, not much lower than in Denmark. In Charlotte, North Carolina it is 4.4%, far lower than anywhere else in the rich world."

The rust belt, south, and the industrial midwest are the places with the least social mobility - and the strongest support for Trump. Read into that what you will.

-W

Quidnon?

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #852 on: January 15, 2017, 05:40:27 PM »
I didn't say anything about class mobility, but that is a great point - it is indeed possible to move up (or down) on the income scale based on any number of factors.

That takes nothing away from the fact that middle class folks are angry about not getting any economic gains in 40 years. Real US GDP was about $6 trillion in 1977. 40 years later it's about $17 trillion. So not quite 300% higher. All of those gains went to people like me in the top 5 or 10% of the income/wealth distribution.

There is some great info in that economist article which is directly pertinent, too:
"Third, although social mobility has not changed much over time, it varies widely from place to place. In a second paper, the economists crunch their tax statistics by region. They find that the probability of a child born into the poorest fifth of the population in San Jose, California making it to the top is 12.9%, not much lower than in Denmark. In Charlotte, North Carolina it is 4.4%, far lower than anywhere else in the rich world."

The rust belt, south, and the industrial midwest are the places with the least social mobility - and the strongest support for Trump. Read into that what you will.

That is interesting.

Gondolin

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #853 on: January 16, 2017, 10:53:21 AM »
Quote
They may have to flatten their wealth trajectory, but the alternative will be societal collapse.

It'll come down to the choice that pre-revolutionary wealthy always have. Will they give a little in order to keep a lot or will they wait until the guillotines come out and it's too late?

GuitarStv

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #854 on: January 16, 2017, 10:56:21 AM »
Quote
They may have to flatten their wealth trajectory, but the alternative will be societal collapse.

It'll come down to the choice that pre-revolutionary wealthy always have. Will they give a little in order to keep a lot or will they wait until the guillotines come out and it's too late?

The optimum answer for every day that the guillotines don't come out is to wait.  Any of the super wealthy who make a different decision will simply lose money compared to their peers.

nobody123

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #855 on: January 16, 2017, 10:59:00 AM »

Yup. I want lots of relatively well-off people to buy my products and work at my company, not a bunch of low-value peasants producing nothing useful, or worse, killing me and my friends and family and setting up the USSR again. If that means I just have to give them all great free education and healthcare and free money for doing nothing, so be it.

-W

I have come to this conclusion as well.  I think a UBI paired with universal healthcare and post-secondary education is a much better alternative than the global war that would ensue if some sort of revolutionary action in the USA attempted to forcefully redistribute capital from multinational corporations.

Metric Mouse

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #856 on: January 16, 2017, 11:04:45 AM »
The optimum answer for every day that the guillotines don't come out is to wait.  Any of the super wealthy who make a different decision will simply lose money compared to their peers.

GuitarStv; I regularly admire your ability to empathize with many sides of complex discussions.

RangerOne

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Re: What's really going on out in the country? Why
« Reply #857 on: January 16, 2017, 12:38:21 PM »
I didn't say anything about class mobility, but that is a great point - it is indeed possible to move up (or down) on the income scale based on any number of factors.

That takes nothing away from the fact that middle class folks are angry about not getting any economic gains in 40 years. Real US GDP was about $6 trillion in 1977. 40 years later it's about $17 trillion. So not quite 300% higher. All of those gains went to people like me in the top 5 or 10% of the income/wealth distribution.

There is some great info in that economist article which is directly pertinent, too:
"Third, although social mobility has not changed much over time, it varies widely from place to place. In a second paper, the economists crunch their tax statistics by region. They find that the probability of a child born into the poorest fifth of the population in San Jose, California making it to the top is 12.9%, not much lower than in Denmark. In Charlotte, North Carolina it is 4.4%, far lower than anywhere else in the rich world."

The rust belt, south, and the industrial midwest are the places with the least social mobility - and the strongest support for Trump. Read into that what you will.

-W

I would be all for politicians focusing on finding ways to increase social mobility in stagnant areas. However I think the disagreements on what makes social mobility more easily possible will continue to stifle these efforts.

They were discussing similar studies on NPR this morning. They seem to indicate that a certain basic level of assistance to lower income people greatly improves social mobility and the places most lacking in this assistance show the poorest levels of mobility.