Robin Williams on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etQeFJ2lbbo
The new phenomenon we’re seeing now is the pulling away of the upper middle class from everyone else. I think that’s the real source of anger against inequality. I don’t think most people really care that there is some billionaire out there. All billionaires combined earn just 1% of all income, so it’s not like they’re sucking up a huge part of all income. People get mad when they feel like they’re competing for real world resources, and there just aren’t enough billionaires to do that. But the Facebook engineer making $500,000/year? They’re the ones buying up the houses and driving middle class people out of neighborhoods.
I’ve been listening to the new New York Times podcast “Nice White Parents”: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/podcasts/nice-white-paren.... The first couple of episodes talks about the conflict between lower income Black and Hispanic parents and high income white parents in a Brooklyn neighborhood school. I think when people get mad about income inequality, for the most part they’re reacting to that sort competition for limited resources in American neighborhoods. And the “rich people” that are competing for those resources aren’t billionaires, but the upper middle class.
The anger is from realizing the future isn’t as bright as expected. If this was a rising tide lifting all boats, no one would care the FB engineer making $500k if they also had an upward trajectory.
Instead the Facebook engineer is putting many yearbook company employees out of business, and google maps engineers are putting map makers out of business, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with obviating people, but they are understandably responding to the volatility with fear and anger as there is no social safety net.
Wait this sounds like demonizing the FB engineer for making the 500k even though he would now have to pay millions for a medium size/class/type home that was previously owned by (and sold for) a crazy amount by said "middle class".
I get very worried when I see this sentiment where somehow the employees of these companies are responsible for killing the previous fabric but what is driving them to these decisions is somehow sacred?
Housing prices in full Silicon Valley suburbs aren’t exploding because of a handful of billionaires, it’s because of a vastly larger number of engineers making $500k.
I live in Brooklyn where rent isn’t the cheapest. The rents aren’t driven up because I’m in a bidding war with Jeff Bezos; they’re driven up because I’m in a bidding war with other high earning millennial yuppies. The blue collar “middle class” worker doesn’t stand a chance in our neighborhood.
In contrast, my folks live in Wisconsin, where the same blue collar “middle class” worker probably doesn’t care about rent bidding wars because they just put a down payment on a nice starter home.
I think the post-covid housing crisis could be a potential trigger for that. There are going to be a flood of evictions once the moratoriums are lifted. There is already a growing belief that property ownership in the US is "rigged", and once a society has widespread disillusionment with property rights, it's usually downhill from there.
Really?? The only "plan" I've seen is continued moratorium on evictions, which at some point just becomes stealing from landlords to give to renters (as many have pointed out, there hasn't been a corresponding moratorium on mortgage or property tax payments), which at some point guarantees there will be less people willing to rent housing. I haven't seen any widespread plan that actually addresses the problem at a broader level.
IMO that makes sense, but when they do eventually lift the moratoriums, very few of these people will be able to pay their back rent. When you haven't paid rent for 6 (or 9 or 12 or whatever) months, the normal policy is to get evicted. This flood is inevitable and all I've heard from politicians are kick the can down the road type solutions.
I'm not sure how to fix it. It's clearly too late to educate them properly about how economies function.
In DC or New York or San Francisco inequality is always in your face. Public housing down the block from co-ops that even Facebook engineers can’t afford. But for the most part, republicans don’t live there.
My Maryland county is pretty red—Clinton was the first Democrat to win it (barely) since JFK. There are some very rich people here, but you can really only tell by their boats. The waterfront houses are mostly owned by retired middle class people. (We bought ours from a young couple: a disabled vet and a nurse.) The nicer waterfront houses are as likely to be owned by a guy with a successful contracting business as a business executive. The public schools are excellent and you can buy a 3BR house zoned for the best high school in the area for 3-4 times the median income. You could make $1 million/year (and some people do) but other than on a boat there is nowhere extravagant to spend that money. There’s no restaurant in the entire county that the vast majority of people couldn’t afford to go to for at least a special occasion.
And like I said, we do have some old money yacht racing types. Go a bit further out where the rich people are farmers with their wealth tied up in land, and the society is even flatter. The vast majority of Republican America is like that.
I don't think that's really true. If you take suburbs/exurbs out of the equation (which polling shows turning quickly away from Republicans due to Trump revulsion, though not necessarily into the arms of the Democrats), many Republican strongholds are (a) places where voting patterns fall nearly entirely along racial lines (i.e. the Deep South), and (b) places that have seen a demise in opportunity, like the Rust Belt, where pretty much any young person with talent and ambition gets out as soon as they are able.
You may not see a ton of inequality in some of these "hollowed out" areas, but people certainly know it exists.
Thank you for sharing the Robin Williams clip, I had not seen that before and found it hilarious and perfectly fitting.
To put things into perspective, the entire Wolton fortune, accumulated over decades, would bankroll the ongoing COVID lockdowns for about a week.
A relatively few lucky Americans may acquire a few million over their entire careers. I am a well paid developer who's had a number of good breaks and I hope to have that much some day for retirement.
215B is an unimaginable amount of wealth.
The real story would be how economies of scale and technological efficiencies, and now coronavirus lockdown effects have driven even more business to the already biggest businesses, and what to do about that.
This seems like something that is much more properly paid via broad-based taxation, not by seizing wealth from a small number of families.
"via serving the needs/wants of vast swaths of population" is completely false. The article was about inherited wealth. When you inherit wealth, you didn't serve the needs of vast swaths of the population. You were simply born to the right parents.
And of course, you’re comparing wealth accumulated over 50-60 years to a one time bailout. This likely won’t be the last pandemic of our lifetime. What’ll we do next time?
This is a hundred year pandemic. The worst pandemic since the 1918 flu. We save up during the good times just in case we need it during the bad times. So yes, spending wealth accumulated over the past decades is necessary now.
It’s not even as bad as previous Asian flu of 1957, so far.
"About 70,000 to 116,000 people died in the United States"
"The second wave, in January and February 1958, was more pronounced among elderly people and so was more fatal."
There have been over 150,000 deaths in the US in the first 7 months of the current pandemic. So no, you're incorrect.
-pay everyone making minimum wage or below 100$ for registering to vote. Cost about 170m.
-devote some portion of it to animal safety and care taking. Even stuff like sanctuaries for feral cats, dogs, and other non-adopted creatures as opposed to euthanasia.
-public libraries that provide services people otherwise wouldn’t have. Like a public square almost. Have a clearing house match up community interests with speakers and the like. Ie inviting religious people or leaders from religions foreign to the community to come in and discuss their beliefs and culture. I also want people to be able to request and invite things like lectures from theoretical physicists. Also do stuff like letting people request time on musical equipment in the building to learn how to play - or even just see if it’s for them.
Granted, all of this would probably negatively affect that biweekly 1 billion!
Some people would accuse me of making medicine only for the rich, but that is not my intention. The disease of old age affect equally both billionaire and the poorest of grandparents, and everyone in between. To have new medicine only available to the rich and only the rich would be a total failure of my aim.
With the resulting glut of energy I would do anything
P.S. Mild curiosity: why the downvotes. seems like a solid plan
I like your idea. I don’t recall much RD being put into self assembling machines. The potential there seems like obvious incentive. Like why not try to send such machines to the outer solar system and send stuff back to us?
>Family's political network is planning to engage in nearly 200 federal and state races in 2020.
Why not take all of that and put it toward green or fusion research?
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair
Except in this case, the salary is more like their portfolio rate of return.
And really, the important thing is the amount they give, not the number of targets. One could argue that giving $20 to ActBlue is engaging in hundreds of races, too.
they are used as scapegoats but the damage is done to working professionals like family physicians
I know where my household income ranks
I’m in no way “rich”. But, I am intellectually honest enough not to consider ourselves “middle class” according to statistics.
This thread is rife with lack of knowledge about what wealth even is and how to re distribute it to society.
Does this measurement mean anything to anybody? It doesn't help me visualize anything.
Maybe even throw in a street name or something.
What we really need is for capitalism as we know it to die. It's unethical that people are having to worry about starvation, not having a roof, and not having access to medical care in the US while Mark Zuckerburg is colonizing an island of Hawaii and suing native residents out of their family land.
> The ranking excludes first-generation fortunes and those fortunes controlled by a single heir.
Wal-Mart has done a lot of good for people with lower incomes. Prices are low, employment is usually easy to come by.
It's not home to the finest of goods, but when the chips are down Wal-Mart is your friend.
I did the math and Bloomberg has ALREADY earned back all the money he spent in the election by literally doing nothing.
- They pay dramatically less taxes. Often zero percent on many transactions and with money hidden overseas or in specifically designed financial instruments for the rich.
- They have connections you don't because they send their children to ivy league schools, the ENTIRE purpose of which is to act as a filter for the rich.
- They own the means of production.
- The working class won't stand up for their rights, won't unionize, and consistently ...
- They can bypass state taxes entirely by lying about where they live.
I've started FOUR companies now. Sold three. I'm NOT a communist. Capitalism is amazing - but it's fundamentally broken.
All the criticisms that US conservatives have previously applied to the Soviet Union now apply to the US.
- The government picks the winners.
- Government and corporations are in bed with one another to the point where we have a centralized control of power.
The BEST reform we could have, and fight for, is adequate taxation. Make the rich pay the SAME % as everyone else. NO tax benefits for corporations for moving to a specific state/city. Uniform state taxation.
The extra money we make from making the rich pay their fair share, without having YOU subsidize them, should go to help ALL Americans pay for health care, education, etc.
If you're a Christian it's what Christ commanded you to do. If you're a good person it's the RIGHT thing to do because it helps your fellow man. If you're a capitalist it's the right thing because it will SAVE capitalism.
Interesting how this article points to their tactic being some kind of sophisticated investing strategy, and not the federal reserve bailing out stocks and lowering interest rates to prop up property prices.
The whole article reads like a desperate attempt to keep people from realizing our own government props up these rich families at taxpayer expense.