All I see when I look down, something jumpin' on the ground, Scratchin' dirt, cluckin' in the barnyard -
Tell me, could that be you?
If the net wealth increases by 200% and the increase all goes to a small group of people, the poor remain poor or poorer and the gap widens with all the attendant social issues already brought to your attention.
If there are two people in a room and the average wealth of the two people is $100,000 but one has $199,000 and the other $1,000 it is not the same as them both having $100,000 each. Also the person with $1,000 has far fewer opportunities to improve his lot than the person with $199,000. That's how simple this issue is.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd - Voltaire
The poor of the past didn't have food, shelter, hot and cold running water, heating, air conditioning, a running car, cable, a microwave, telephone service, cell phones, medical care, legal counsel, etc. The poor of today do. As the links and excerpts I provided demonstrate, the standard of living of those we call "poor" today match the standard of living of the middle class of the 1970's.
The poor are not "getting poorer" by any standard other than the envy standard.
I don't think we're talking about the poor of today versus the poor throughout history. The impression I had was that in modern society, the middle class is being pushed lower and lower down the ladder into the lower class, who are with the aforementioned class being pressed into relative poverty.
The following is a fabricated situation, but I think it will help explain the "poor get poorer" viewpoint.
There are 100 million dollars in circulation, 20 of which are owned by the common person. Oprah has developed a skin care line, so she is supplying skin care to people. Over time, the common persons develop fabulous skin,.but it's been a few years, so now 99 million dollars are owned by Oprah and the common persons have only 1 million dollars between them. You can see how the common peoples are in deep shit, but they figure they will earn back some money by selling their products to Oprah. Unbeknowngst to them, Oprah is fabulously wealthy and therefore already owns all the cars she needs, the house she needs, only pays a small portion of her money in utilities, and grows her own food on a sustainable farm. She got richer and the poor got poorer, and she is not putting enough money back into circulation by herself for all of the poor to even have a chance at non-poverty.
If the wealth gap is reduced, improvements in the lives of billions of people around the world will be realized. There is no defensible social, economic, or ethical reason that the largest percentage of the world's wealth should be concentrated in a just a few people while billions are deprived of opportunity and in many cases adequate food, water, housing, and security.
On every indicator a more equitable distribution of a nation's or the world's wealth produces greater benefits for the greatest number of people, and it produces peace and stability, necessary precursors for the development of real, sustainable, material wealth. To argue that billionaires ought to have their billions rather than merely a million or two is truly perverse, morally indefensible, and dangerous.
No benefits accrue to a society and the vast majority of its people when the gap between rich and poor is extreme. Those are the undeniable facts.
The only rationale I can see for defending the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor and the deliberate annihilation of the middle class is a belief that the rich are superior beings to those who are not rich, and that the superior beings have an earned privilege to prey on those less powerful than them. Is it any wonder then that usually when the wealth gap becomes too extreme the prey rise up violently and devour the predators? Did you not notice what is happening now in the Middle East? Are you not aware of the great revolutions in France, Russia, and China?
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd - Voltaire
Inflation robs those on fixed income. You are correct. If the game is rigged to limit income then inflation is the cruelest tax for the decrease in purchasing power. So that indicates the class distinctions of those on fixed incomes from those on increasing incomes. But that's not the end if those on fixed incomes can reduce their need for increasing incomes by the same amount as inflation. They will just hold their own until they die and if they've done it right the last check they write will bounce. That's right kiddies, I've spent your inheritance. Ha.I have answered this previously. Relational and/or inflationary value add no real wealth. If I want to borrow money to acquire land and the bank has deposits to cover the loan and put that money in my hand while simultaneously agreeing to give the same amount of money back to the depositor on demand, any increase in value to the land is inflationary, not real. It makes things move, it keeps things going and is a good practice, but it creates no real wealth. Sorry.
If the terrain and the map do not agree, follow the terrain.
When motherhood becomes the fruit of a deep yearning, not the result of ignorance or accident, its children will become a new race.
Once again: being poor is only a consequence of the wealth gap in and of itself if acquisition of wealth is a zero-sum game. It is not.What matters is what is happening today to people as consequence of the expanding wealth gap.
As my linked resources indicate, there is no permeating sense of unrest or unhappiness to be found in the general population of America just because the wealth gap exists - at least not outside of those whom the socialists incite, while it appears that there is great social unrest in those European countries where the forced, "equitable" distributions of wealth have led to unsustainable economies that are now going bankrupt.On every indicator a more equitable distribution of a nation's or the world's wealth produces greater benefits for the greatest number of people, and it produces peace and stability, necessary precursors for the development of real, sustainable, material wealth.
To argue that billionaires should be stripped of their wealth simply because they have more than others is truly perverse, morally indefensible, and dangerous.To argue that billionaires ought to have their billions rather than merely a million or two is truly perverse, morally indefensible, and dangerous.
Except that the gap between the rich and the poor has always been extreme in the USA, and the benefit to society of that system is the generation of so great an amount of wealth that even our poor live like kings compared to most of the real poor in the world today, or historically, which accounts for why the poor in America are, as the report shows, as happy as the wealthy.No benefits accrue to a society and the vast majority of its people when the gap between rich and poor is extreme. Those are the undeniable facts.
If that's the only rationale you can see, then it's no wonder you support redistribution via the envy metric.The only rationale I can see for defending the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor and the deliberate annihilation of the middle class is a belief that the rich are superior beings to those who are not rich, and that the superior beings have an earned privilege to prey on those less powerful than them.
Where has it been shown to be "deliberate" to get rid of the middle class, except by redefining what it is to be "poor" upward so that the term "poor" subsumes most of what used to be the middle class? Also, please direct me to any source that objectively defines what it means to be "poor", and what objective values are used to determine that status.
Errr .. if the socialist economies of Europe are so great, why is there such civil unrest there now? People are rising up in the Middle East aren't doing so beause they're poor, they're doing so because they're being oppressed; the pro-democracy revolutionaries want democratic reforms (they don't chant "we want more money"), and the muslim brotherhood wants a sharia-compliant, anti-Western government (they, also, are not chanting "we want more money").Is it any wonder then that usually when the wealth gap becomes too extreme the prey rise up violently and devour the predators? Did you not notice what is happening now in the Middle East?
Russia .. let's see ... the socialist revolution established the distributive communist model ... and the people revolted against the zero-wealth growth real-world result to create a capitalistic society. China has introduced capitalist wealth-acquisition for individuals to spur wealth production both due to unrest and just to be able to compete. France? Are you talking about the revolution against the formal class system when the atheists murdered tens of thousands of the religious, or the current unrest in that socialist model?Are you not aware of the great revolutions in France, Russia, and China?
Last edited by Meleagar; 12th May 2011 at 09:06 AM.
Me of the future may have five dollars more than I do today, but today, everything is five dollars cheaper.
Comparisons of wealth in the studies linked adjust for such variances.Me of the future may have five dollars more than I do today, but today, everything is five dollars cheaper.
If you refer to this
How Poor Are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America | The Heritage Foundation
link, the only mid-1900s comparisons that I saw were for air conditioning and minor height/weight differences.
Who said anything about the mid-1900's?