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America's Wealth Distribution

Zenheizer

needs practice
This video is truly shocking.

Please watch, and comment.

Wealth Inequality in America - YouTube

The perception is exactly what I thought, and the reality blew my mind. The chart makes it even more ridiculous in metrics. Is this what capitalism has turned out to be?

The top 1% owns over 40% of the wealth in our country - can anything be done to help the distribution?
 

danwiz

Registered Member
Yeah, but it's probably even worse in a communist society. I mean, don't get me wrong, this figure (or these figures) are disgusting, but what would such a graph look like for China or N. Korea. I suspect that even here in Japan it is equally disgusting.

Can anything be done to get any of this money into my hands, your hands or the homeless and truly poor people's hands? Probably not! I wish to heck there was a way though. I mean, I personally struggle to make ends meet and have to plan for months to buy anything new, I don't have an automobile, don't own a home here in Japan (but I have a home in Alaska).

What's even sadder is that even I am better off than a heck of a lot of folks!
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
They said that wealth inequity started about 20 to 30 years ago. Isn't that about the time their taxes were cut, then again by President Bush when he took office. So a lot of their money isn't being put back in the system like it use to.

I think its a shame the rich have so much when the middle class and poor have almost nothing. This isn't good for this country and problems like this cause civil wars.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
Actually it's the opposite. More wealth was created between the years of 1985 to about 2005. The average household in the early 90's had more of the modern conveniences in their homes than people say in the late 50's/early 60's. Videos like this are interesting but they don't jive with the facts.
 

Van

Heavy Weapons Guy
V.I.P.
Yes something can be done to get the money into your hands. Work harder and smarter.


Exactly CO,

A free market economy like we have in this country is why lower class individuals live in better comfort than in most other countries. The other option is a command economy but that tomatoey leads to widespread poverty. Do you simply redistribute the wealth? No because that removes the incentive to work. More's UTOPIA comes to mind. It looks good on paper but dehumanizes everything and ultimately won't work.

The simple truth is, we live in an imperfect world. While a capitalist system may also be imperfect, at least it works better than the alternative.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
Yes something can be done to get the money into your hands. Work harder and smarter.


Exactly CO,

A free market economy like we have in this country is why lower class individuals live in better comfort than in most other countries. The other option is a command economy but that tomatoey leads to widespread poverty. Do you simply redistribute the wealth? No because that removes the incentive to work. More's UTOPIA comes to mind. It looks good on paper but dehumanizes everything and ultimately won't work.

The simple truth is, we live in an imperfect world. While a capitalist system may also be imperfect, at least it works better than the alternative.
I agree. It bugs me to no end when I hear people say "All these companies care about is making a profit". Well yeah, that's why we have all the modern conveniences we have that many in the world don't have. A free market system is nowhere perfect, but much much better than any alternative. One only has to look at the advancements since the beginning of last century to see the results.
 

Sim

Registered Member
When we're taking about facts, we should have a look at the Gini Index:

Gini coefficient - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That's a scientific and reliable measure for wealth distribution in different countries.

You can see on this map...:



... that inequality is larger in America than in Western Europe, Canada and Australia, about the same as in Russia, but much less extreme than in countries like Mexico, Brazil, China or South Africa.
------
Here are detailed lists for the different countries:

List of countries by income equality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For example, the US had a Gini coefficient of 0.38 in the late 2000s *after* taxes and transfers (1.0 is maximum inequality, 0.0 is minimum inequality). Compared to:

Canada 0.32
Australia 0.34
United Kingdom 0.35
Japan 0.33
France 0.29
Germany 0.29
Italy 0.34
Austria 0.26

So you can see that while America's wealth distribution is less equal than in all other industrialized countries, there are other countries where the situation is worse, such as i.e.:

Chile 0.49
Mexico 0.48
Turkey 0.41

But keep in mind that this index says nothing about the general wealth. It does just indicate how equal the distribution is -- it does not say whether the people are equally rich or equally poor.
 
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Van

Heavy Weapons Guy
V.I.P.
When we're taking about facts, we should have a look at the Gini Index:

Gini coefficient - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That's a scientific and reliable measure for wealth distribution in different countries.

You can see on this map...:



... that inequality is larger in America than in Western Europe, Canada and Australia, about the same as in Russia, but much less extreme than in countries like Mexico, Brazil, China or South Africa.
This is interesting to look at. Although I think it would be better to look at a side by side with other data such as per capita GDP or average income. Or even some kind of indicator of which countries have the freest economies. For instance there is data available for ease of doing business:

Ranking of economies - Doing Business - World Bank Group

Of course with statistical analysis, you always run the risk of biased data especially when you try to merge two different data sets.

Do you know why several countries from Europe have no data on the Gini? I find that weird unless it is based on government information they are not willing to share.
------
Or you could even match it up with historical growth rates to see if there is a relationship or not. I think there would be but now we're talking of merging 3 or 4 data sets for a single comparison.
 
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Sim

Registered Member
This is interesting to look at. Although I think it would be better to look at a side by side with other data such as per capita GDP or average income. Or even some kind of indicator of which countries have the freest economies. For instance there is data available for ease of doing business:

Ranking of economies - Doing Business - World Bank Group

Of course with statistical analysis, you always run the risk of biased data especially when you try to merge two different data sets.

Do you know why several countries from Europe have no data on the Gini? I find that weird unless it is based on government information they are not willing to share.
Yes, you're right, that index only addresses (in)equality and doesn't say anything about absolute or average wealth. So in extreme cases, people in a country with few inequality that's very poor in absolute terms may be worse off than people in a rich country with lots of inequality, as the poorest in the latter are maybe still better off than the average in the former. So yes, probably the median income should be considered too.

As for the European countries, I think they're on the map, just in the lowest inequality category (looks almost white)... the colors on that map are stupid, you can hardly tell them apart. Anyway, the countries with no data available are those in grey, like many in Africa.
 

Van

Heavy Weapons Guy
V.I.P.
Oh right, I must have had a brain fart when I looked at it the first time.

I think I may try to pull together some data just for comparisons sake. Want to see what kinds of trends/correlations I can find.
 
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