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Does inequality matter?

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Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

In May 2011, the High Pay Commission reported that, if current trends continue, by 2030 the highest 0.1% of earners in the UK will see their remuneration rise to 140 times average income. The last time someone in the top tenth of one per cent of the income distribution was deemed to be worth 140 other people was when we had a fully functioning aristocracy and Queen Victoria was on the throne.

In 1998, Peter Mandelson stunned many of us on the left by declaring: "We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich". Maybe that didn’t seem to matter so much in the good times; the UK economy grew continuously from 1995 until 2008, the longest period of sustained growth for at least 200 years. Inequality in Britain is the fourth highest in the developed world, after the USA, Portugal and Singapore, but in those good years most people were slightly better off than previously, and public services, which the poor use more than the rich, were receiving vast injections of cash. Under thirteen years of Labour rule (1997-2010), spending on the NHS trebled and spending on education doubled. (Despite all the Tory lies to the contrary, the percentage of our GDP spent on welfare actually fell between 1997 and 2008.) So does it matter if some are much, much better off than most?

Economically, Britain was at its most equal ever in either 1968 or 1976, depending on which figures you use. Inequalities have been rising since Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. The highest paid 10% received incomes that were eight times higher than the lowest paid 10% in 1985 – by 2008 they were twelve times higher. It is also reported that income inequality has grown faster in the UK than anywhere else. Now, the wealthiest 10% receive 40% of total UK income, while the poorest 10% get 1%. Since 1979, the share of the national income going to wages and salaries has fallen, while the proportion going to profits has risen. If the share had increased at the same rate as national income, incomes in the middle would now be nearly £3,000 higher.

Just before he became Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg lamented that between 1997 and 2007 the wealthiest 20% had seen their post-tax incomes rise so much more than others that they were receiving 7.2 times the incomes of the poorest 20% by the time Tony Blair left office (as opposed to 6.9 times as much when he became Prime Minister). Before he weedled his way into power with Clegg’s help, David Cameron commented on ‘The Spirit Level’, a book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. He said it showed "that among the richest countries, it's the more unequal ones that do worse according to almost every quality-of-life indicator". That implied that he thinks inequality does matter, but much of what his vicious government has done has only made things more unequal.

The 2011 statistics from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggested that inequalities were increasing substantially again and in a far shorter period of time, not least because incomes at the bottom are now falling in real terms. An IFS report in September 2011 revealed that the least well off 20% of British households will lose 6% of their income per year between 2011 and 2014 due to government cuts. The charity ‘Save The Children’, best known for helping some of the world's poorest families, has now launched an appeal to help UK children. The charity says the UK's poorest children are bearing the brunt of the austerity measures, with some missing out on regular hot meals or new shoes. IFS figures estimate that there are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK and predict a steep rise in the numbers in coming years.

Meanwhile, the 1,000 richest people in Britain saw their average personal wealth rise from £336 million each in 2010 to £369 million by 2011, and then to £414 million by 2012. In 2010/11, the incomes of the chief executives of the largest 100 companies in the UK increased by nearly 50%, while the average pay rise in the private sector was just 2.7%. Because prices increased by 5.2%, most private sector workers actually became poorer and pay freezes meant that many public sector workers did even worse. Author and commentator Owen Jones has written: “The coalition’s mantra that ‘we’re all in this together’ has shifted between the ludicrous and the offensive ever since it came to power: while the average Briton faces the most protracted squeeze in living standards since the 1920s, the Sunday Times Rich List reveals an ever-booming elite.”

The only countries (for which there are comparable statistics) in which the richest 1% ‘earn’ more than in Britain are Argentina, Singapore, South Africa and the USA. In Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Spain the richest 1% earn only nine times average earnings (or less) – in Switzerland only 7.8 times; in Sweden 6.7 times; and in the Netherlands only 5.4 times the average income. As Professor Danny Dorling says: “The Swiss have bankers, the Swedes industrialists, and the Dutch host multinational companies; they all just don’t tolerate such excess.”

Admittedly it’s in a different economic climate, but Ed Miliband clearly isn’t so “relaxed” as Mandelson was about the filthy rich. In September 2010, in his first major speech as Labour leader, Ed said: "I do believe this country is too unequal and the gap between rich and poor doesn't just harm the poor, it harms us all." Greater inequality does matter. Owen Jones argues that inequality weakens social cohesion and a sense of community, and produces more crime and violence. He quotes the example of the riots of August 2011, pointing out that London is one of the most unequal cities on earth, where the richest 10% receive 273 times more than the poorest 10%.

It’s ironic that greater inequality, which right-wing policies always cause, increases the need for big government, which right-wing politicians so detest. Inequality creates the need for more police, more prisons and more health and social services of every kind. (The USA imprisons people at fourteen times the rate of Japan, the UK some five times.) Most of these services are expensive and only very partially effective.

Most companies produce goods or services for the general public, such as houses, clothes, household goods, foodstuffs and insurance. When wealth is concentrated in the hands of fewer people, demand falls; the rich might buy luxury goods, but not enough of the things that most companies offer. Increasing inequality means that many can no longer afford to consume, or can only do so by getting into too much debt, as in the USA subprime mortgage crisis that sparked off the global crunch. Borrowing works for a while, but not for ever. Where no one can borrow any more money, goods and services cannot be sold, factories and businesses close, jobs are lost, and the world goes into recession.

Professor Dorling sums up: “Pay restraint at the top saves more money than any programme of government cuts to public sector jobs can ever achieve. Pay and benefit increases at the bottom are the most efficient means of increasing consumer demand. It was redistribution of wealth which changed this country from thirties misery to swinging sixties.”

Sources used:-

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/11/inequality-social-health-essay

http://classonline.org.uk/docs/Why_Inequality_Matters.pdf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-19478083

http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/rack_of_inequality








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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:30 am

tlttf wrote:The difference between the poor in the west and the poor in the east is pretty high. Should we have a world government?

The fact that there are even worse injustices somewhere doesn't reduce the injustice of what's happening here, tlttf. Or 'landy' - I quite like that!

Deadly - welcome to the party! Smile

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:24 am

Does inequality matter?

Since the dawn of Humankind, we have arranged our affairs to favour a hierarchy, nominating first hunters from among the strongest and then political leaders from among those apparently capable. We make personal choices about equality. For every election candidate there are a thousand people who wouldn't take the job under any circumstances. Fortunately the woodcutters and cultivators are generally content with their lot otherwise Society would be quite different, and probably even more unpleasant than it is considered to be now.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:26 pm

I think, myself, there's no such thing as equality - we're all different and we all are potentially 'the best' in some area.
For being 'the best' there should be some reward, but it maybe shouldn't be such a BIG reward that everyone else is going without important and useful things.
Also, everyone should have a chance to compete and establish themselves as 'the best' within their own specialism.
No-one is useless, nothing is wasted, every person is ENTITLED to enough to eat, somewhere safe to live, and the chance to reach her/his potential.
Any social system that awards so much to some individuals as to leave not enough for the rest, is WRONG
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:27 pm

"Any social system that awards so much to some individuals as to leave not enough for the rest, is WRONG

Undoubtedly, but such a system could not exist without aquiescence of the majority. How can that be explained?
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Shirina on Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:41 am

Undoubtedly, but such a system could not exist without aquiescence of the majority. How can that be explained?

In the US, the majority is all but browbeaten into believe that everyone can become a part of the 1% if they just work hard. It's ridiculous, yet many Americans believe it. Therefore, even those who would benefit from a more equitable economic system will vote against it. They don't want to hamstring the top 1% because they might become part of the 1%.

Yeah, a top 1% where 99% of the people are a part of. Doesn't make much sense. People need to wake up and realize that the vast majority of us will be lower to middle middle class. That's not a bad thing, but people always want more. More, more, more.

If the majority could be convinced that they're being robbed, ripped off, scammed, and gyped by those with the wealth, that majority could usher in a better system.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:18 pm

I think in England, too, people have the belief that they are in with a chance at joining the 'elite' - some, on the strength of a paid-off mortgage and a golf club membership, even feel they are on the point of doing so.
This is further complicated by institutions like the royal family and the rest of the aristocracy - who we're somehow conned into thinking are 'better' than the rest of us.

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:17 pm

Automatic deference to our "betters" has markedly diminished in the past fifty years, and I haven't doffed my cap to the local Squire for ages.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:26 pm

Ah but look at the frenzy of ma'am's in the popular press every time Elizbeth Windsor appears in public! Royalty worship is still alive and well, methinks
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:51 pm

Render unto Caesar ....

You don't have to be a Royalist to show respect to someone who you think may have earned your respect.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:56 am

And I wonder what the royal family have done to deserve any more respect from me than I would give to anyone else?
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:55 pm

boatlady wrote:
… there's no such thing as equality…

I played a little basketball. I started playing ball a bit before Michael Jordan, so because of seniority, the Chicago Bulls should have been required to hire me rather than “His Air-ness.”

Apply that pattern to many corporations and public agencies, and one can begin to see where many of our systemic problems originate. Folks are hired, promoted, and retained in hard times based upon seniority rather than ability. W.E.B Du Bois spoke of “the talented tenth”, those who are better, not because if cut they bleed blue, but because they are better.

Mike, “Air”, is a bit better than me on the court. Knowing that has not diminished my self esteem.

boatlady wrote:
… we all are potentially 'the best' in some area.

“It ain’t necessarily so.” Some folks are not the best in any area. In your nation alone there are more than sixty two million people. Somebody has got to be second best, third best… one thousandth best…
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:49 pm

Some talents are very small - everyone is special and unique - some of our talents are appreciated only within very small circles, but they are talents nevertheless.
I'm never going to be famous, or to win any prizes or to play professional sports, but I am still uniquely and unbeatably talented at creating a happy home life for my family. That makes me 'the best', perhaps in a very small way, but the best nevertheless.
All achievement doesn't have to be in the public domain, no all all value can be measured in money.

Them's my views, anyway.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:55 pm

"... talented at creating a happy home life for my family"

What greater talent would anyone wish to possess...?
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:46 pm

"To change the World" has to begin somewhere, and where better than within the Home?

This may be something for the Politicians to think about while they are apparently searching for the Universal Panacea. Where I live we are very fortunate in having a neighbour of the type sometimes described as "salt of the earth". This lady has raised a family of four children who are all in regular employment, and who visit her regularly with their families. Quietly and without fuss they ensure that Mum is alright, mending her fences, redecorating her home and tending her garden while she in turn does voluntary domestic work for widow-ladies unable to get about quite as well as they used to.

Heaven forfend that such people should ever find themselves being weighed in the balance by fuckwits such as we have in the Coalition government.


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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by boatlady on Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:49 pm

Change the world, one act of kindness at a time
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:29 pm

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." (J. K. Galbraith)

Polly Toynbee writes:-

In his 2009 Hugo Young lecture, Cameron spoke with apparent passion of the damage done by inequality: "We all know, in our hearts, that as long as there is deep poverty living systematically side by side with great riches, we all remain the poorer for it." The wise saw the wolf beneath the sheepskin: sure enough, once in power, the language he and his ministers used to blame the poor for their plight was cruder and fiercer than in Thatcher's day. You need to go back to Edwardian times to find ministers and commentators so viciously dismissing all on low incomes as cheats, idlers and drunks.

The Brookings Institution reports that ever-worsening inequality will be 'permanent' from now on. Most people would be alarmed at a never-ending widening of the gulf, if they knew. Most people want to believe the equal opportunities myth, but are easily comforted when told the poor are bad and the well-off deserving, so social justice prevails in this best of all possible worlds.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/28/benefit-cuts-monday-defines-government
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:12 am

Did anyone see the ITV 'Tonight' programme this evening on poverty? It was excellent - compassionate and emphatically refuting the myth of the 'skivers'.

It looked at different poverty and inequality measures, and all of them were at record levels.

Should be available on catch-up somewhere if people want to see it.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Deadly Nightshade on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:43 am

skwalker1964 wrote:Did anyone see the ITV 'Tonight' programme this evening on poverty? It was excellent - compassionate and emphatically refuting the myth of the 'skivers'.

It looked at different poverty and inequality measures, and all of them were at record levels.

Should be available on catch-up somewhere if people want to see it.

Have to say that I am really surprised that the 'Tonight' program has managed to pull this off, watch the show last week on the NHS, and was furious at how they handled it. No objectivity, one nurse babbling some nonsense about how "caring" is still one of the main components of their job, while the other stood beside her impersonating Churchill the nodding dog. Vowed after last weeks episode I would not waste another 30 mins watching it in future
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:07 pm

Inequality has this week been reinforced by Order of the European Central Bank. Cyprus is now subject to exchange controls which would be ILLEGAL in all the other Countries of the EU under its various treaties designed to permit the free flow of business across borders.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:53 pm

The Truth About MARGRET SANGER [with typo corrections]
(This article first appeared in the January 20, 1992 edition of Citizen magazine)

How Planned Parenthood Duped America

At a March 1925 international birth control gathering in New York City, a speaker warned of the menace posed by the “black” and “yellow” peril. The man was not a Nazi or Klansman; he was Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf, a member of Margaret Sanger’s American Birth Control League (ABCL), which along with other groups eventually became known as Planned Parenthood.

Sanger’s other colleagues included avowed and sophisticated racists. One, Lothrop Stoddard, was a Harvard graduate and the author of The Rising Tide of Color against White Supremacy. Stoddard was something of a Nazi enthusiast who described the eugenic practices of the Third Reich as “scientific” and “humanitarian.” And Dr. Harry Laughlin, another Sanger associate and board member for her group, spoke of purifying America’s human “breeding stock” and purging America’s “bad strains.” These “strains” included the “shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of antisocial whites of the South.”

Not to be outdone by her followers, Margaret Sanger spoke of sterilizing those she designated as “unfit,” a plan she said would be the “salvation of American civilization.” And she also spoke of those who were “irresponsible and reckless,” among whom she included those “whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers.” She further contended that “there is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.” That many Americans of African origin constituted a segment of Sanger considered “unfit” cannot be easily refuted.

http://www.blackgenocide.org/sanger.html
Margaret Sanger
Founder of Planned Parenthood


In Her Own Words

Copyright © 2001 Diane S.  Dew

“… ‘human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.’”  Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people

The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,” she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

“More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief aim of birth control.” Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

http://www.dianedew.com/sanger.htm

Racism comes in various guises.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:01 am


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Birmingham campaign
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Birmingham campaign was a movement organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention to the unequal treatment that black Americans endured in Birmingham, Alabama. Led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, the spring 1963 campaign of nonviolent direct actions culminated in widely publicized confrontations between black youth and white civic authorities, and eventually led the municipal government to change the city's discrimination laws.

In the early 1960s, Birmingham was one of the most racially divided cities in the United States. Black citizens faced legal and economic disparities, and violent retribution when they attempted to bring attention to their problems. Protests in Birmingham began with a boycott meant to pressure business leaders to open employment to people of all races and end segregation in public facilities, restaurants, and stores. When business leaders resisted the boycott, SCLC organizer Wyatt Tee Walker and Birmingham native Fred Shuttlesworth began what they called Project C, a series of sit-ins and marches intended to provoke mass arrests. After the campaign ran low on adult volunteers, high school, college, and elementary students were trained by SCLC coordinator James Bevel to participate, resulting in hundreds of arrests. To dissuade demonstrators and control the protests, the Birmingham Police Department, led by Eugene "Bull" Connor, used high-pressure water jets and police dogs on children and bystanders. Not all of the demonstrators were peaceful, despite the avowed intentions of the SCLC. In some cases, bystanders attacked the police, who responded with force. King and the SCLC drew some criticism for putting children in harm's way.

The Birmingham campaign was a model of direct action protest, as it effectively shut down the city and, through the media, drew the world's attention to racial segregation in the South. It burnished King's reputation, ousted Connor from his job, forced desegregation in Birmingham, and paved the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in hiring practices and public services in the United States.

City of segregation

Birmingham, Alabama was, in 1960, "probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States."[2] Although the city's population of almost 350,000 was 60% white and 40% black,[3] Birmingham had no black police officers, firefighters, sales clerks in department stores, bus drivers, bank tellers, or store cashiers. Black secretaries could not work for white professionals. Jobs available to blacks were limited to manual labor in Birmingham's steel mills, work in household service and yard maintenance, or work in black neighborhoods. When layoffs were necessary, black employees were the first to go. The unemployment rate for blacks was two and a half times higher than for whites.[4] The average income for blacks in the city was less than half that of whites. Significantly lower pay scales for black workers at the local steel mills were common.[5] Racial segregation of public and commercial facilities throughout Jefferson County was legally required, covered all aspects of life, and was rigidly enforced.[6] Only 10 percent of the city's black population was registered to vote in 1960.[7]

Fifty unsolved racially motivated bombings between 1945 and 1962 had earned the city the nickname "Bombingham". A neighborhood shared by white and black families experienced so many attacks that it was called "Dynamite Hill".[10] Black churches in which civil rights were discussed became specific targets for attack.[11]

Birmingham's black population began to organize to effect change. After Alabama banned the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1956,[12] Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth formed the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) the same year to challenge the city's segregation policies through lawsuits and protests. Shuttlesworth's home was repeatedly bombed, as was Bethel Baptist Church, where he was pastor.[13] After Shuttlesworth was arrested and jailed for violating the city's segregation rules in 1962, he sent a petition to Mayor Art Hanes' office asking that public facilities be desegregated. Hanes responded with a letter informing Shuttlesworth that his petition had been thrown in the garbage.[14] Looking for outside help, Shuttlesworth invited Martin Luther King and the SCLC to Birmingham, saying, "If you come to Birmingham, you will not only gain prestige, but really shake the country. If you win in Birmingham, as Birmingham goes, so goes the nation."[15]

Retrieved 11 April 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_campaign

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:47 am


Ratio of pay, CEO vs. average worker, by country:


  • United States - 475:1


  • United Kingdom - 22:1


  • Canada - 20:1


  • Japan - 11:1



From a chart found on Facebook.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:47 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
Margaret Sanger
Founder of Planned Parenthood


In Her Own Words

Copyright © 2001 Diane S. Dew

“… ‘human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.’” Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people

The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,” she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

“More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief aim of birth control.” Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

http://www.dianedew.com/sanger.htm

Racism comes in various guises.
[/quote]

You'd think the supposed thoroughbreds would at least know it's 'fewer from the unfit', wouldn't you?

Steve (mongrel and proud)
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:48 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
Ratio of pay, CEO vs. average worker, by country:

  • United States - 475:1

  • United Kingdom - 22:1

  • Canada - 20:1

  • Japan - 11:1

From a chart found on Facebook.

Don't have chance to look up the stats just now, but I'm pretty sure that's undershooting the UK average by a country mile..
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:27 pm


Steve, my fellow mongrel,

I got the CEO vs. average worker stats from a chart posted on Facebook by a person unknown to me. As is typical of a younger generation accustomed to posting without attributing, there was no source cited. I would like to find and post the original chart, properly sourced, so that we hereon can discuss whether the numbers are accurate. I haven’t found it yet, but I’m an old school dude, and someone who grew up in the Internet era might be able to find it.

Something went wrong somewhere. Average workers produce whatever product the company produces, whether it’s something one can touch or something un-seeable, un-hearable, un-smellable, un-touchable, and un-tasteable. CEOs produce nothing. I cannot see how managing production of that which one does not produce makes one’s value equal to the values of four hundred seventy-five producers.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by astradt1 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:51 pm

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Shirina on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:03 pm

I doubt you're going to find a lot of agreement with those figures. I've looked at many charts like that and the actual ratio varies, but no matter which figures are given, the US has a HUGE lead in CEO vs. worker pay as compared with any other industrialized nation.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:28 pm

Well they don't have Knighthoods, you see, that's why the recognition has to be in cash.

Calling a robber, sorry, Captain of Industry, "Sir J... " saves a 50% salary increment.

It's a continuation of the system whereby a Salesman demanding a higher commission is happy to go away with the title of "Area Manager" instead.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:35 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
Something went wrong somewhere. Average workers produce whatever product the company produces, whether it’s something one can touch or something un-seeable, un-hearable, un-smellable, un-touchable, and un-tasteable. CEOs produce nothing. I cannot see how managing production of that which one does not produce makes one’s value equal to the values of four hundred seventy-five producers.

Rock, I couldn't agree more! As a right-wing economist put it, they receive entrepreneurial rewards for managerial performance.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Shirina on Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:17 am

Something went wrong somewhere. Average workers produce whatever product the company produces, whether it’s something one can touch or something un-seeable, un-hearable, un-smellable, un-touchable, and un-tasteable. CEOs produce nothing. I cannot see how managing production of that which one does not produce makes one’s value equal to the values of four hundred seventy-five producers.


This goes back to what I told Tosh when he compared capitalism and economics with Darwinian Evolution. This is a case of bad evolution where the organism competes with itself rather than an external opponent. It is a case where the brain competes with the heart until one or the other is choked off from life-saving oxygen and blood. Eventually, either the heart or the brain will die.

Of course everyone knows that the heart and brain exist in a state of symbiosis, but the entrepreneurs, tycoons, brokers, and bankers seem to have forgotten this. Or, perhaps, they are well aware of it but instead of treating the disease, they are acting like a terminal patient out to get as much enjoyment and (in their case) wealth as possible before the organism dies. As much as I find an embarrassment of riches disgusting, at least the Captains of Industry in days of yore also had a vision for the nation as well as one for their own personal profits. The famed Gospel of Wealth specifically says that the wealthy are not to horde their wealth but to invest in the community that made them rich. They understood that the heart and brain are equally necessary for the body to survive.

Today, capitalism is a bloodsucking institution designed to take every last drop of blood, every last molecule of oxygen for only one of the two organs. I think we all know who is being squeezed. Even CEO failures walk away with a golden parachute larger than most people will ever make in their lifetimes. As I've always said, if you're going to pay people tens of millions to ruin a company, hire me instead. Hell, I'll do it for just a few hundred thousand! I'll fail for very competitive wages. I should tender my resume immediately.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:01 am

Capitalism as lupus. Yes, it definitely fits...
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by tlttf on Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:30 am

Sadly I have to agree with roc, steve and shirina on this subject. However what we are witnessing isn't Capitalism it's uncontrolled greed by a handful of people in power. Capitalism in it's correct formation rewards hard work, what we are witnessing is very similar to a communist revival where a few are rewarded for minimal effort yet hold the finances so tightly that growth and entrepreneurial enterprise is stifled at birth making everybody equally skint barring the few.

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Ivan on Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:40 am

what we are witnessing isn't Capitalism it's uncontrolled greed by a handful of people in power. Capitalism in it's correct formation rewards hard work, what we are witnessing is very similar to a communist revival
LMAO. Keep quiet and people may think you're thick. Open your trap and post utterly mindless drivel like that and you remove any doubt. But I suppose it's all we can expect from someone who feigns concern about inequality yet shows adulation for the evil woman who created so much of it in the 1980s.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by tlttf on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:38 am

How lucky am I? My own personal guardian angel following me around, to censor me should I dare to make a relevant point that doesn't include the usual socialist drivel. Get a life troll.

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:01 pm

Inequality is often self-evident, as when a chip on the shoulder manifests as an entire King Edward.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by Phil Hornby on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:20 pm

Ah - the power of the written word... Very Happy
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:08 am

skwalker1964 wrote:
Rock, I couldn't agree more! As a right-wing economist put it, they receive entrepreneurial rewards for managerial performance.

Steve my mongrel brother (I’m half Texan, half Tejano, half West African, half Cherokee, half Irish, half Scot, half Sephardic Jew, half Greek, half Szechwan, and half Thai),

The mega-millionaires whose stories are told in The Men Who Made America were ruthless visionaries that risked their own money, putting everything on the table and played out their hands. For them, there were no golden parachutes. When they failed, they lost everything that they had.

These modern pretenders are wage “earners” whose wages far exceed what they’ve earned. They put other peoples’ money on the table and fold. When they lose the farm, they’re punished with mega-million severance packages, platinum parachutes interlaced with mega-caret diamonds.

Something’s wrong with this picture.

The Men Who Built America: The Every Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymEa24r0xXk&playnext=1&list=PLGS3fAD5oiCTMTmCfxmqMhNmsxXOU07jK&feature=results_main
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:19 am

All things must pass.
Matthew 24:6-8

Whatever is wrong with such a picture will eventually right itself, as we know from the Rise and Fall of various Empires over three thousand years of recorded human destiny.

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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:48 am

The Telegraph
Chief executive pay vs average worker pay: in graphs

RENUMERATION OF CEO COMPARED WITH AVERAGE YEARLY EMPLOYEE PAY 1998-2009

Year, Multiple
1999, 69
2000, 90
2001, 92
2002, 128
2003, 132
2004, 140
2005, 144
2006, 140
2007, 161
2008, 157
2009, 145

Retrieved 22 April 2013 from  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8546801/Chief-executive-pay-vs-average-worker-pay-in-graphs.html?image=1
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by ROB on Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:09 pm


Perhaps, given the overwhelming response to the research posted above, income inequality in the United States does not matter.
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Re: Does inequality matter?

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:16 pm

I doubt it's that, Rock. For myself, it's just sheer workload at the moment..
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Re: Does inequality matter?

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