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Inequality - not simply Poverty - harms society
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Plain Meaning



Joined: 18 Oct 2014

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Inequality - not simply Poverty - harms society Reply with quote

Inequality Matters: Conservative commentators have been arguing that the uneven distribution of wealth and income in America isn’t a problem. They’re wrong.

Many of the so-called "thought-leaders" have met Occupy Wall Street's message with an attempted compromise(d) position: its poverty and mobility which need alleviation, the mega-rich can keep their riches. These "thought-leaders" assiduously avoid examination of how the wealthy captured their wealth: through manipulation of Congress and the law, through leveraging their wealth to create more wealth, through Wall Street schemes and violations of their fiduciary duties. Nonetheless, public policy demands that the rich who might "deserve" their mega-wealth part with a reasonable amount of it, because massive wealth inequality harms society and the public.

Quote:
Research indicates at least three causal pathways via which inequality constrains opportunity for those at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

First, inequality is driving increasing residential segregation by income. The shares of families in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and neighborhoods of concentrated wealth both more than doubled between 1970 and 2009, while the share of families in middle-income neighborhoods declined from 65 percent to 42 percent. Those high-poverty neighborhoods—where more and more families are living—create lasting disadvantages for many who grow up there: If a family with young children (less than age 13) relocates from a high- to a low-poverty neighborhood, the kids achieve better academic and economic outcomes later in life, as new work by Chetty et al. indicates.

Second, inequality leads to unequal access to quality educational experiences throughout a child’s lifetime. Over the period of growing inequality, these disparities have increased. In 1995, for example, families with education debt in the bottom half of the net worth distribution (a broader definition of income, including assets minus liabilities) had a mean debt-to-income ratio of around 0.26, meaning that for every dollar of their income, they owed 26 cents in college debt. For families in the top 5 percent, that ratio was eight cents on the dollar. But by 2013, the debt-to-income ratio had more than doubled to 0.58 for the bottom half (some of whom are poor but many of whom are middle class) while remaining unchanged for those at the top.

Third, and most importantly, inequality directly undermines equality of opportunity, likely through a variety of mechanisms. As the gap between the rich and poor widens, lower-income families have less ability relative to their rich counterparts to invest in enrichment goods for their children. Children from families with less income have relatively less extensive and privileged social networks and, compared to their rich peers, are more likely to experience the type of "toxic" stress that can hamper brain development and long term academic, health, and economic outcomes.

In short, inequality entrenches immobility not just by enabling increasingly unequal transfers of wealth from one generation to the next, but also through a number of more subtle pathways that affect opportunity on a daily basis. It may not yet be possible to explain all of these subtle pathways with great certainty, but the fact that “rich and poor children score very differently on school readiness tests before they enter kindergarten” should be viewed as an unsurprising consequence of the high levels of inequality American society currently tolerates.


In a society dominated by the mega-wealthy, it should be no surprise to see many defend the status quo. It should only surprise us that popular opinion might accept the feeble defense of the mega-wealthy's alliance with the wealthy to keep society so profoundly inequitable and unjust.
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chellovek



Joined: 29 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are all the libertarians at? This forum used to crawling with them. Topics such as this were like catnip to them.

However, yes that's an interesting thing you put up, and I think they have a point.
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trueblue



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Location: In between the lines

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inequality...


Well, if the youth would stop having kids outside of marriage, perhaps the family structure would still be in tact. Thus, providing discipline, guidance and the opportunity for a future.

In the U.S., blacks and Hispanics have the highest rate of out of marriage births.....hmmmmm.....
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trueblue wrote:
Inequality...


Well, if the youth would stop having kids outside of marriage, perhaps the family structure would still be in tact. Thus, providing discipline, guidance and the opportunity for a future.

In the U.S., blacks and Hispanics have the highest rate of out of marriage births.....hmmmmm.....


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/15/opinion/charles-blow-jeb-bush-and-single-mothers.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

Many countries with lower marriage rates in Europe provide better outcomes for children than the United States... Hmmmmm...
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Plain Meaning



Joined: 18 Oct 2014

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trueblue wrote:
Inequality...

In the U.S., blacks and Hispanics have the highest rate of out of marriage births.....hmmmmm.....


Congratulations. You're the first to race-bait this thread. I'm glad you have, just to make clear to others that everything is about race. Everything, apparently.
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trueblue



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Location: In between the lines

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is what it is....
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trueblue



Joined: 15 Jun 2014
Location: In between the lines

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hispanics and blacks are not a race.

Personally, I do not put much stock into Hispanic and black black youth that reside in America, for the most part. Actually, I do not put much stock into their caucasion counterparts, either.

Hmmm...in fact, as a whole, I do not hold many aspects of modern American culture to be seen as admirable, either.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Inequality - not simply Poverty - harms society Reply with quote

Plain Meaning wrote:
Inequality Matters: Conservative commentators have been arguing that the uneven distribution of wealth and income in America isn’t a problem. They’re wrong.

Many of the so-called "thought-leaders" have met Occupy Wall Street's message with an attempted compromise(d) position: its poverty and mobility which need alleviation, the mega-rich can keep their riches. These "thought-leaders" assiduously avoid examination of how the wealthy captured their wealth: through manipulation of Congress and the law, through leveraging their wealth to create more wealth, through Wall Street schemes and violations of their fiduciary duties. Nonetheless, public policy demands that the rich who might "deserve" their mega-wealth part with a reasonable amount of it, because massive wealth inequality harms society and the public.

Quote:
Research indicates at least three causal pathways via which inequality constrains opportunity for those at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

First, inequality is driving increasing residential segregation by income. The shares of families in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and neighborhoods of concentrated wealth both more than doubled between 1970 and 2009, while the share of families in middle-income neighborhoods declined from 65 percent to 42 percent. Those high-poverty neighborhoods—where more and more families are living—create lasting disadvantages for many who grow up there: If a family with young children (less than age 13) relocates from a high- to a low-poverty neighborhood, the kids achieve better academic and economic outcomes later in life, as new work by Chetty et al. indicates.

Second, inequality leads to unequal access to quality educational experiences throughout a child’s lifetime. Over the period of growing inequality, these disparities have increased. In 1995, for example, families with education debt in the bottom half of the net worth distribution (a broader definition of income, including assets minus liabilities) had a mean debt-to-income ratio of around 0.26, meaning that for every dollar of their income, they owed 26 cents in college debt. For families in the top 5 percent, that ratio was eight cents on the dollar. But by 2013, the debt-to-income ratio had more than doubled to 0.58 for the bottom half (some of whom are poor but many of whom are middle class) while remaining unchanged for those at the top.

Third, and most importantly, inequality directly undermines equality of opportunity, likely through a variety of mechanisms. As the gap between the rich and poor widens, lower-income families have less ability relative to their rich counterparts to invest in enrichment goods for their children. Children from families with less income have relatively less extensive and privileged social networks and, compared to their rich peers, are more likely to experience the type of "toxic" stress that can hamper brain development and long term academic, health, and economic outcomes.

In short, inequality entrenches immobility not just by enabling increasingly unequal transfers of wealth from one generation to the next, but also through a number of more subtle pathways that affect opportunity on a daily basis. It may not yet be possible to explain all of these subtle pathways with great certainty, but the fact that “rich and poor children score very differently on school readiness tests before they enter kindergarten” should be viewed as an unsurprising consequence of the high levels of inequality American society currently tolerates.


In a society dominated by the mega-wealthy, it should be no surprise to see many defend the status quo. It should only surprise us that popular opinion might accept the feeble defense of the mega-wealthy's alliance with the wealthy to keep society so profoundly inequitable and unjust.


To put this thread back on track -- a track I don't think has anything to do with race at all -- I agree with Kuros here. This is part of the reason things like progressive taxation, a firm inheritance tax, and a reasonably high tax upon capital gains are important: to prevent the wealth of a few from snowballing to the point where it becomes socially, politically, and economically destructive.

The defenses of incredible wealth existing in the hands of a few are pretty weak. One might suggest that they can use that hoarded wealth to donate philanthropically, but the wealthy donate a smaller percentage of their earnings to charity than the middle class, which implies a broader and more affluent middle class would produce more donation than the current breakdown. One might suggest that the wealthy are necessary for investment purposes, but collaborative investment models mean that people all across the economic spectrum can easily pool their resources to invest in worthwhile projects without problem, and they'll probably suck less back out of the system in the bargain. And the fact that the wealthy spend a lesser proportion of their earnings on goods and services means that wealth in their hands is probably actually the least productive wealth in the entire economy, being used to capture more wealth for its own sake, rather than to create economic opportunities for others. This is why things like unemployment insurance are such good economic stimulus: the recipients spend it instead of hoarding it. The same logic will apply to all other forms of wealth and income. And that's just the economic element, of course: the fact that such immense wealth can be used to purchase political influence is if anything far worse, especially in a society that decided 'money is speech.'
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No_hite_pls



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Location: Don't hate me because I'm right

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great post Fox
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maximmm



Joined: 01 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:34 am    Post subject: Re: Inequality - not simply Poverty - harms society Reply with quote

Plain Meaning wrote:


In a society dominated by the mega-wealthy, it should be no surprise to see many defend the status quo. It should only surprise us that popular opinion might accept the feeble defense of the mega-wealthy's alliance with the wealthy to keep society so profoundly inequitable and unjust.


In a society dominated by the mega-wealthy, the media is dominated by them as well - and given how the uneducated masses are susceptible to the influence of media, it's not surprising that they are buying every little bit that the mega-wealthy are feeding them via various media sources.
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Plain Meaning



Joined: 18 Oct 2014

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't top Fox's post upthread, so I won't try.

I just wanted to point out that I was unaware that today's mega-wealthy were so parsimonious with regard to charity. When we think of the mega-wealthy, we tend to conjure up philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates or even Warren Buffet. But most apparently are more like Steve Schwarzman.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plain Meaning wrote:
I can't top Fox's post upthread, so I won't try.

I just wanted to point out that I was unaware that today's mega-wealthy were so parsimonious with regard to charity. When we think of the mega-wealthy, we tend to conjure up philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates or even Warren Buffet. But most apparently are more like Steve Schwarzman.


Yeah, another d-bag. The older I get, the more left-wing I become.
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tophatcat



Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Location: under the hat

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plain Meaning wrote:
I can't top Fox's post upthread, so I won't try.

I just wanted to point out that I was unaware that today's mega-wealthy were so parsimonious with regard to charity. When we think of the mega-wealthy, we tend to conjure up philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates or even Warren Buffet. But most apparently are more like Steve Schwarzman.


How much have you given to charity this year?
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tophatcat wrote:
Plain Meaning wrote:
I can't top Fox's post upthread, so I won't try.

I just wanted to point out that I was unaware that today's mega-wealthy were so parsimonious with regard to charity. When we think of the mega-wealthy, we tend to conjure up philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates or even Warren Buffet. But most apparently are more like Steve Schwarzman.


How much have you given to charity this year?


I know you're not asking me this question, but I'll answer: I haven't given any this year. When I've donated money, it has not once gone to my undergrad college. Why? Because it has billions of dollars already, and it is so focused on being an "elite" university that I really could care less about it.

Schwarzman sucks ass because he's still bitter about getting rejected by Harvard back in the 60s, and to shove it in Harvard's face, he donated a ton of money to Yale (his alma mater). What a classy guy.
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Plain Meaning



Joined: 18 Oct 2014

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tophatcat wrote:
Plain Meaning wrote:
I can't top Fox's post upthread, so I won't try.

I just wanted to point out that I was unaware that today's mega-wealthy were so parsimonious with regard to charity. When we think of the mega-wealthy, we tend to conjure up philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates or even Warren Buffet. But most apparently are more like Steve Schwarzman.


How much have you given to charity this year?


I don't give money to charity. I have offered my time to those in need. But that's very far besides the point.

I admire Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and Andrew Carnegie. They're very rare men, apparently.
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