daguti + wealth-income-distribution   127

Americans Have Lost Faith In Their Ability To Move From Poverty To Riches | More than two-thirds said it's no longer commonplace for hard work to be a path from poverty to wealth, according to a new World Economic Forum poll. : TrueReddit
quotes = "“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five"
capitalism  capitalism-greed  wealth-income-distribution  quotes  wealth 
26 days ago by daguti
What Could Raising Taxes on the 1% Do? Surprising Amounts - The New York Times
"When it comes to paying taxes, most Americans think the wealthy do not pay their fair share.

There is a sharp divide, however, between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to taxing the rich, who provide most of the cash for political campaigns.

All the Republican tax proposals, in fact, cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Democrats, on the other hand, are prepared to raise taxes at the top, though they have not been very specific about how they would do so.

“Right now, the wealthy pay too little,” Hillary Rodham Clinton said at this week’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas, “and the middle class pays too much.”

But what could a tax-the-rich plan actually achieve? As it turns out, quite a lot, experts say. Given the gains that have flowed to those at the tip of the income pyramid in recent decades, several economists have been making the case that the government could raise large amounts of revenue exclusively from this small group, while still allowing them to take home a majority of their income.


It is “absurd” to argue that most wealth at the top is already highly taxed or that there isn’t much more revenue to be had by raising taxes on the 1 percent, says the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel in economic science, who has written extensively about inequality. “The only upside of the concentration of the wealth at the top is that they have more money to pay in taxes,” he said.

The top 1 percent on average already pay roughly a third of their incomes to the federal government, according to a Treasury Department analysis that takes into account the entire menu of taxes — including income tax, payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security, estate and gift taxes, excise and custom duties as well as investors’ share of corporate taxes. The tax bite on the top 0.1 percent is a bit higher. Most of those taxpayers insist they are already paying more than enough.

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By comparison, the band of taxpayers right below them, in the 95th to 99th percentile, pay on average about $1 out of every $4. Those in the bottom half pay less than $1 out of every $10.

Sidestepping for the moment the messy question of just which taxes would be increased, how much more revenue could be generated by asking the rich to pay a larger share of their income in taxes?

To get the most accurate picture possible, throw in all the scraps of income, from the most obvious (like wages, interest and dividends) to the least (like employer contributions to health plans, overseas earnings and growth in retirement accounts). According to that measure — used by the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution — the top 1 percent includes about 1.13 million households earning an average income of $2.1 million.

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Raising their total tax burden to, say, 40 percent would generate about $157 billion in revenue the first year. Increasing it to 45 percent brings in a whopping $276 billion. Even taking account of state and local taxes, the average household in this group would still take home at least $1 million a year.

If the tax increase were limited to just the 115,000 households in the top 0.1 percent, with an average income of $9.4 million, a 40 percent tax rate would produce $55 billion in extra revenue in its first year.

That would more than cover, for example, the estimated $47 billion cost of eliminating undergraduate tuition at all the country’s four-year public colleges and universities, as Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed, or Mrs. Clinton’s cheaper plan for a debt-free college degree, with money left over to help fund universal prekindergarten.

A tax rate of 45 percent on this select group raises $109 billion, more than enough to pay for the first year of a new $2,500 child tax credit introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida.

Move a rung down the ladder and expand the contribution of those in the 95th to 99th percentile — who earn on average $405,000. Raising their total tax rate to 30 percent from a quarter of their total yearly income would generate an additional $86 billion. That’s enough to cover the cost over eight years of repealing the so-called Cadillac Tax on high-cost health plans, which Senator Sanders and Mrs. Clinton have endorsed.

A 35 percent share produces $176 billion — roughly the amount that the Federal Highway Administration has estimated is needed each year to improve conditions significantly on major urban highways.

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Alternatively, those tax increases could be used to help reduce government borrowing: Some combination of those raises could go a long way toward wiping out this year’s estimated federal deficit of $426 billion.

“Most economists today would agree that raising taxes modestly would bring in more revenue” without doing any serious damage to the economy, said Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center. The big question is how much is too much, because at some point, higher tax rates would discourage extra investment and work.

All the Republican candidates share the party’s traditional opposition to raising taxes on the wealthy, arguing that it would ruin the economy by sopping up money that would otherwise be used to create jobs. Lowering taxes, they say, will unleash a torrent of economic activity that will in the long run spur growth and revenue.

But most mainstream economists, including some on the conservative side of the divide, concede that even with optimistic projections about growth and spending cuts, the Republican plans would leave a whopping budget gap, requiring more borrowing, not less. Revamping the tax code along these lines would also decrease the share paid by those at the top.

The argument for raising tax rates on the rich tends to focus on the vast gains that this group has enjoyed in recent years compared with everyone else. The top 0.1 percent of American families — each with net assets greater than $20 million — own more than 20 percent of the all the household wealth in the country. In the 1970s, that same sliver of the population controlled 7 percent.

That shift is behind Senator Sanders’s repeated vow to compel Wall Streeters and others in the Rolex-and-Maserati set to pay more than they do now.

“Let me tell you, Donald Trump and his billionaire friends under my policies are going to pay a hell of a lot more in taxes today — taxes in the future than they’re paying today,” he declared in Las Vegas.

Middle-income families make substantially less money than they did 15 years ago, once inflation is taken into account. The economist Thomas Piketty blames, among other things, “the spectacular lowering of top income tax rates” for the sharp rise in inequality.


The lower rate — generally a maximum of 23.8 percent — on capital gains, or profits from investments, is particularly problematic, Mr. Piketty argues. Estimates show that nearly 70 percent of capital gains benefits go to the top 1 percent. A recent study by Adam Looney at Brookings and Kevin B. Moore at the Federal Reserve found that “the reduction in the long-term capital gains rate is the primary reason” that the income tax system had become less effective in reducing wealth inequality.

Aided by a phalanx of lawyers and accountants, the rich have become adept at figuring out ways to shift earnings that would normally be taxed at the top 39.6 percent rate on ordinary income into capital gains, said the economist Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley, who is researching the link between widening inequality and tactics — legal and illegal — used by the wealthy to sidestep taxes.

Shifting earnings from one tax category to another is part of the reason that even the top 0.1 percent pay on average no more than a quarter of their income in federal individual income taxes — despite that top tax bracket of 39.6 percent, according to a Treasury Department analysis.

“Why give a blank check to all of these guys?” Mr. Stiglitz, the liberal economist, asked. He pointed out that current tax law makes no distinction between, say, investing abroad, speculating in land or building a new factory. A better approach, he said, is to say: “We’ll give you generous deductions if you invest in America.”

Eliminating the preferential rates on capital and dividends would generate $1.34 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Other breaks that critics say subsidize wealth inequality include one that allows people to avoid capital gains taxes on inherited assets. Getting rid of that adjustment would generate $644 billion over a 10-year period, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Ending the deferral on corporate profits kept overseas — a boon for the wealthy that Robert S. McIntyre, the director of Citizens for Tax Justice, calls “the biggest corporate loophole” — would generate $900 billion over 10 years. (Mr. Trump also supports shutting down that deferral.)


Although an overwhelming proportion of Americans complain that many wealthy people don’t pay their fair share in taxes, Democratic voters are more likely to be upset about it than Republicans. According to the Pew Research Center survey, nearly three out of every four Democrats said it bothers them “a lot” compared to 45 percent of Republicans.

Yet the problem that any president — Democrat or Republican — is going to face in altering the tax code is getting… [more]
taxes-as-a-concept  wealth-income-distribution 
5 weeks ago by daguti
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is floating a 70 percent top tax rate — here’s the research that backs her up : TrueReddit
Great comments:

"An even more aggressive 2016 paper from Benjamin Lockwood, Charles Nathanson, and Glen Weyl argues that confiscatory taxation would be good for the economy because it would discourage talented people from entering lucrative lines of work. In a world of low taxes, they show, talented people have strong incentives to work in legal or financial professions rather than be teachers or research scientists."

books-to-read = "Have you read about Bullshit Jobs? An author named David Graeber wrote a book on the subject, which I'd link, but phone Reddit. The thesis is that many jobs under capitalism contribute nothing meaningful to the world or society, and only exist because they either produce profit for a company or raise some manager's status."

"Historically, the United States used to have many more tax brackets, and the top marginal tax rates were extremely high. Under Eisenhower, the top earners paid a 91 percent marginal rate, falling to Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed 70 percent under Kennedy and Johnson, before falling to 50 percent after Ronald Reagan’s first big tax cut, and then down to 38 percent after the 1986 tax reform."

"Yeah but compared to many other developed countries 38% isn’t even that high, with a very high income required to reach that. In my western european country you’re taxed at 40% for everything over €38,000/year approximately. And then other graded income taxes can easily bring it over 50% at higher incomes (e.g. 80k/year)

It’s no wonder the US says it can’t afford universal healthcare or better education and the budget always runs a deficit, the tax base seems too narrow?"

"Exactly... The problem isn't the rate. Only stupid rich people pay the rate you see on the surface. The real problem is tax code that was turned into a gigantic clusterfuck which allows the rich to hire specialized accountants, whose full-time job is finding them 'tax-advantaged' structures. For example see the story of Mitt Romney's IRA. Not to mention all the twats who simply offshore their money... Funny how all the anger over the paradise papers and related leaks was so quickly redirected to some manufactured controversy."
wealth-income-distribution  taxes-as-a-concept  news  2019 
6 weeks ago by daguti
Why the myth of a perfect meritocracy is so pernicious  - Vox
"I mentioned a study in the book that is quite chilling on this point. It found that kids from lower-income families who scored in the top quartile on math tests in the eighth grade were less likely to graduate from college than students who scored in the bottom quartile in math but happened to be born into homes in which their parents were in the top third of income distribution."
wealth  wealth-income-distribution  analysis  politics-philosophies-republicans  poverty 
december 2017 by daguti
A disaster. A joke. A lie. Here's how these... - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
The dissenting viewpoint: The wealthly who would benefit from tax cuts saying that they don't need them.

counterintuitive anti-something
video  wealth  wealth-income-distribution  taxes-as-a-concept 
december 2017 by daguti
Myths of the 1 Percent: What Puts People at the Top - The New York Times
Not international trade (which is correlated with INCREASED income equality)
Not the rise of information technology
Not Unions
Not immigration

"So What’s Going On?

Almost all of the growth in top American earners has come from just three economic sectors: professional services, finance and insurance, and health care, groups that tend to benefit from regulatory barriers that shelter them from competition.

The groups that have contributed the most people to the 1 percent since 1980 are: physicians; executives, managers, sales supervisors, and analysts working in the financial sectors; and professional and legal service industry executives, managers, lawyers, consultants and sales representatives.

Without changes in these largely domestic services industries — finance, health care, the law — the United States would look like Canada or Germany in terms of its top income shares.

The United States also stands out in terms of how much money its elite professionals earn relative to the median worker. Workers at the 90th percentile of the income distribution for professionals make 3.5 times the earnings of the typical (median) worker in all occupations in the United States. Only Mexico and Israel, which have very high inequality, compensate professionals so disproportionately. In Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark, the ratio is about 2 to 1."
wealth-income-distribution  analysis  counterintuitive 
november 2017 by daguti
Why Education is a Limited Determinant of Mobility - The Atlantic
Also see the following two bookmarks, which are somewhat related to this topic.

https://pinboard.in/u:daguti/b:7f9ed8183ecd (You're More Likely To Inherit Your Dad's Social Status Than His Height : science)

https://pinboard.in/u:daguti/b:c72f8e15566c (Movin' On Up? That May Depend On Your Last Name : NPR)

"Rothstein, however, found little evidence to support that premise. Instead, he found that differences in local labor markets—for example, how similar industries can vary across different communities—and marriage patterns, such as higher concentrations of single-parent households, seemed to make much more of a difference than school quality. He concludes that factors like higher minimum wages, the presence and strength of labor unions, and clear career pathways within local industries are likely to play more important roles in facilitating a poor child’s ability to rise up the economic ladder when they reach adulthood."
education  poverty  public-policy  family  society  culture  wealth-income-distribution 
october 2017 by daguti
The truth behind Jeb Bush's 'free stuff' remark - CNN.com
"Citizens in much of Europe can avail themselves of generous paid family leave, free child care, free university education and inexpensive (and universal) health coverage, all paid for through taxes. The result is societies that have significantly lower inequality than we do, not because they aren't capitalist (they are) but because government policy ameliorates the inequality that unfettered capitalism brings." ..............."So why do Republicans say this "free stuff" kind of thing so often? The main reason is the simplest one: they believe it. Beyond that, it serves to justify the prevailing distribution of income, wealth and privileges. If we can believe this narrative -- that the one percent got where it is through nothing more than its hard work and strength of character, and that those who are struggling financially are in that position only because of their sloth and moral deficiency -- then there's no need to change anything about how our system works."
politics-philosophies-republicans  poverty  hypocricy  wealth-income-distribution  europe  capitalism-done-right  capitalism  analysis 
june 2016 by daguti
How Markets Magnify the Role of Luck and Create the Illusion of Meritocracy - Evonomics
"...a gifted salesperson, for example, will be far more productive if her assignment is to sell financial securities to sovereign wealth funds than if she’s selling children’s shoes."

"It’s of course a good thing that their superior offerings are now available to more people. But an inevitable side effect has been that producers with even a slight edge over their rivals went on to capture most of the industry’s income.

Therein lies a hint about why chance events have grown more important even as markets have become more competitive. When shipping costs fell dramatically, producers who were once local monopolists serving geographically isolated markets found themselves battling one another for survival. In those battles, even a tiny cost advantage or quality edge could be decisive. Minor random events can easily tip the balance in such competitions— and in the process spell the difference between great wealth and economic failure. So luck is becoming more important in part because the stakes have increased sharply in contests whose outcomes have always hinged partly on chance events."
capitalism  analysis  wealth-income-distribution  small-things-bring-big-results  history-business  economics  economics-80s-through-today  success  success-luck 
may 2016 by daguti
Religion has been causing conflict for over 2,000 years, say scientists | Archaeology | News | The Independent
evolvify-topics, income-distribution = "In the period they were studying - from approximately 700BC to 250AD - they found elites came to dominate religious life and controlled the connection between communities and their gods - leading to conflict with traditional community leaders." ...... Two points to take from this: 1) Elites always take over the thing that controls the masses (we see the same thing today with the Republitards/Religious Right in bed with each other) and 2) Tribalism... traditional community leaders (tribal chiefs) were leading the people in decentralized ways, but the elites took over by centralizing power and bypassing the chiefs.
religion  war  atheism  evolvify-topics  wealth-income-distribution 
december 2015 by daguti
High economic inequality leads higher-income individuals to be less generous : science
resources-scarcity = See the comment by B0NERSTORM " I wonder if this applies to other resources like time. Do people with more time on their hands become less generous with it?
wealth-income-distribution  psychology-wealth-power  poverty  resources-scarcity 
december 2015 by daguti
The Disturbing Truth About How Airplanes Are Maintained Today | Vanity Fair
the reason I tagged this with wealth-income-distribution is that I am starting to see a pattern where all of the infrastructure around us is crumbling because the wealthy refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. the fact that the FAA is unable to come up with a budget to inspect overseas facilities is shameful. Make sure you see the section where it talks about the fact that inspections have had the very core, surprise element, torn out of them in industries other than Airlines.
corruption-corporate  corruption-exposed-by-whistleblowers  airlines  airplanes  airport  safety  infrastructure-roads-grids-pipelines-etc  wealth-income-distribution 
november 2015 by daguti
People in Power Are Quick To Call Out Injustice When They Are Harmed : Shots - Health News : NPR
This reminds me of the NPR article about how lack of a certain resource will cause you to make bad decisions in relation to that resource... creating a downward spiral, for example, of finances.... Very similar psychological thing going on here.
psychology-wealth-power  wealth-income-distribution  wealth  power  poverty 
june 2015 by daguti
If You Want the American Dream, Go to Finland | Blake Fleetwood
"This is a sad, depressing state of affairs for the U.S. and is becoming more true every day. But the reality is still not accepted by most Americans."
finland  wealth-income-distribution  countries-united-states-america 
april 2015 by daguti
About 125 Americans control more than 40 percent of election contributions : politics
It's always been amazing to me how we picture huge institutions to be these big, monolithic entities. But when you really inspect things, it turns out there are a very few small places where you can "push" and make things happen. (This reminds me of the book "Systemantics")
politics  politics-money-in  wealth-income-distribution  large-systems 
april 2015 by daguti
The biggest scam bankrupting business and the middle class - Nick Hanauer
Just a LITTLE more money they need, then it'll all start trickling down. "Our crisis of income inequality wasn’t principally caused by the rich not paying enough tax, even though we don’t. it's largely the product of the $1T/yr that once went to wages, but now goes to corporate profits. And this demand and investment-killing trillion-dollar-a-year transfer of wealth from the bottom 80 percent of households to the top 1 percent is the direct result of the economic and regulatory policies both Republicans and Democrats have imposed since the dawn of the trickle down era. As policy shifted economic power from workers to owners over the past 40 years, corporate profits’ take of the U.S. economy has doubled — from an average of 6 percent of GDP during America’s post-war economic heyday to more than 12 percent today. despite this extra $1 trillion a year in corporate profits, job growth remains anemic, wages are flat, and our nation no longer seems able to afford even its most basic needs."
corruption-corporate  capitalism-greed  wealth-income-distribution  politics-philosophies-republicans  politics-philosophies-liberals-or-democrats  me-stuff  people-nick-hanauer  economics-trickle-down 
march 2015 by daguti
How the GOP stopped caring about you - The Washington Post
wealth-income-distribution = Not strictly speaking, but in terms of how the rich are played against the poor. .............. Also see comment by Penny Saved: "It's an old-fashioned idea that history moves in cycles. The column above is pretty glib. One big note -- The biggest champion of 'deregulation' in the 1970s was a fellow named Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. But the column is, with all those faults, correct. Organized Money has represented the biggest anti-social force in American history since before the nation's founding. And what the author of the column has found is not 'cycles' of history of the Republican Party, but that Organized Money moves it nest. Sometimes, its at home in the Republican Party, and sometimes it hangs out at its summer place in the Democratic Party. The 'cycle' shifts when conditions become intolerable, and the political will arises to (and its always 'finally,' isn't it?) set things correctly, and have a country that is actually..."
politics-philosophies-republicans  me-stuff  me-stuff-foundational-influence  large-systems  politics  wealth-income-distribution  politics-money-in  countries-united-states-america  taxes-as-a-concept 
november 2014 by daguti
Top 0.1%'s wealth about to overtake bottom 90% for first time since 1929 : news
"Yea everyone knows that any day now the top .1% are going to start creating so many jobs with their accumulated wealth that the money they have been hoarding will be redistributed back out to everyone from paying all their employess those high salaries. The problem is that we just haven't given them enough money yet. How can they be expected to do shit like create jobs or pay employees a decent wage when they only have 4 yachts? I mean if the employees asking for raises REALLY deserve to be paid more money they could just go to the job store and get a higher paying job."
wealth-income-distribution  world-records  economy  politics-philosophies-republicans  hypocricy  economics-free-market 
november 2014 by daguti
Economists Say We Should Tax The Rich At 90 Percent: "A 90 percent top marginal tax rate doesn’t mean that if you make $450,000, you are going to pay $405,000 in federal income taxes. Americans have a well-documented trouble understanding the notion of
INSIGHT: And this is how the rich & rich apologists take advantage to spread their retarded message: They take advantage of the fact that people don't understand marginal tax rates, estate taxes, other things and they make it sound like everyone pays those taxes. It's the only way they can get non-wealthy (i.e. the majority) to side with them. Grimy bastards. .............. "Economists Say We Should Tax The Rich At 90 Percent: "A 90 percent top marginal tax rate doesn’t mean that if you make $450,000, you are going to pay $405,000 in federal income taxes. Americans have a well-documented trouble understanding the notion of marginal tax rates."" ............................... poverty = Lots of the top comments discussing poverty. ............... One of the best explanations of marginal tax rate & deductions: http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/2k05zr/economists_say_we_should_tax_the_rich_at_90/clh6cgz
explanation-simplification  wealth-income-distribution  poverty  me-stuff  me-stuff-foundational-influence  taxes-as-a-concept 
october 2014 by daguti
What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege | A Little More Sauce
I thought I was going to hate this, but the analogy is particularly well suited to the purpose. Perhaps because I've ridden in traffic and know just how dangerous "good, well intentioned drivers" can be - never mind the ones high out of their mind or the ones who actively hate you. --------------------- wealth-income-distribution = Although this guy is talking about race, I think the analogy is perfectly suited to discussing middle class privilege and how anyone middle class or above sees the poor. It's not just about "trying harder" or "working longer", there are active issues that keep you down, unable to work longer, get places you need to go, etc.
race  bicycle  explanation-simplification  wealth-income-distribution  me-stuff 
september 2014 by daguti
Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Donald Trump Doesn’t : politics
"The basic question is who should bear these risks. As long as the laws shield large investors while putting the risks on ordinary people, investors will continue to make big bets that deliver jackpots when they win but create losses for everyone else. Average working people need more fresh starts. Big corporations, banks, and Donald Trump need fewer."
people-donald-trump  wealth-income-distribution  economics  economic-recession-2008  debt-personal  credit-cards 
september 2014 by daguti
The Basic Income Community on Reddit
less-employment = Whether through automation, by choice or destruction of jobs, somehow this fits into the picture.
wealth-income-distribution  daily-reading  wealth-less-employment  wealth-less-employment-basic-income  companies-reddit 
september 2014 by daguti
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