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Dreams are for the wealthy
Posted: 14 December 2013 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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I know I’m not supposed to post things twice, but these figures show the realty of today’s situation for most of us.  So take into account when making your arguments.


For the years 1977 to 2010, the wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 281 percent, whereas the wealth of the middle class grew by 16 percent.  In that same period, the incomes of CEOs grew by 726 percent, whereas the average worker’s income grew by just 5.7 percent.

Today, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should now be $21.72 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.  Even on a pure inflationary comparison, sans productivity, wageworkers should be earning a minimum of $10.25 per hour.

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Posted: 14 December 2013 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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garythehuman - 14 December 2013 05:00 PM

I know I’m not supposed to post things twice, but these figures show the realty of today’s situation for most of us.  So take into account when making your arguments.


For the years 1977 to 2010, the wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 281 percent, whereas the wealth of the middle class grew by 16 percent.  In that same period, the incomes of CEOs grew by 726 percent, whereas the average worker’s income grew by just 5.7 percent.

Today, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should now be $21.72 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.  Even on a pure inflationary comparison, sans productivity, wageworkers should be earning a minimum of $10.25 per hour.


Do you have a source for those figures?  I have a lot of skeptical friends and they’d insist on a source.

Lois

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Posted: 15 December 2013 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Lois - 14 December 2013 10:50 PM
garythehuman - 14 December 2013 05:00 PM

I know I’m not supposed to post things twice, but these figures show the realty of today’s situation for most of us.  So take into account when making your arguments.


For the years 1977 to 2010, the wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 281 percent, whereas the wealth of the middle class grew by 16 percent.  In that same period, the incomes of CEOs grew by 726 percent, whereas the average worker’s income grew by just 5.7 percent.

Today, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should now be $21.72 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.  Even on a pure inflationary comparison, sans productivity, wageworkers should be earning a minimum of $10.25 per hour.


Do you have a source for those figures?  I have a lot of skeptical friends and they’d insist on a source.

Lois

Crucifying America - The Unholy Alliance Between the Christian Right and Wall Street - . J. Werleman

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Posted: 15 December 2013 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Here’s a good video on wealth inequality in America.

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Posted: 15 December 2013 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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More info HERE, (about wealth), HERE (about income), also HERE, and HERE.

[ Edited: 15 December 2013 08:00 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 15 December 2013 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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CuthbertJ - 05 December 2013 11:30 AM

Is it me or is anyone else getting sick and tired of all these commercials that tell us to “reach for your dreams”?  I have a mortgage, two car payments, and kids to get through college. How do I go for my dreams?  What about kids whose parents can’t afford college or don’t have good enough credit scores to take out loans? You can’t get a crappy job without a degree these days yet alone a good one.

I’m a fan of silent movies, and I remember reading about how these two brothers dreamed of being in the movie business, circa 1900’s. They started a hotdog stand, saved enough money to buy a movie projector (a nickelodeon actually) and set up booths along the street. From those proceeds they opened an actual theater, and the rest is history.  I *think* it was the Loeb brothers.  In THOSE days all it took was a good idea and hard work.  Can you imagine nowadays?  They couldn’t even start up a hotdog stand! (They were teens at the time).

Nowadays it’s all money and degrees and luck.  Or am I all scrooged?

Times change, that’s all. We live in a different world now. Some things are better some things are worse. It’s not as if we have any have control, we just have to make the best of it.  Complaining about how things have changed is like complaining about evolution.  As if someone said, “Life was much better when we were Neanderthals. Why can’t we go back to a simpler way of life? Just shoot your dinner, make clothes out of the skins, live in a cave.  No money, no taxes, no mortgage payments, no credit cards, no debt, no bureaucracy, no politicians, nobody trying to sell you something. It was better in those days.”

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Posted: 15 December 2013 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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garythehuman - 15 December 2013 07:42 AM
Lois - 14 December 2013 10:50 PM
garythehuman - 14 December 2013 05:00 PM

I know I’m not supposed to post things twice, but these figures show the realty of today’s situation for most of us.  So take into account when making your arguments.


For the years 1977 to 2010, the wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 281 percent, whereas the wealth of the middle class grew by 16 percent.  In that same period, the incomes of CEOs grew by 726 percent, whereas the average worker’s income grew by just 5.7 percent.

Today, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should now be $21.72 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.  Even on a pure inflationary comparison, sans productivity, wageworkers should be earning a minimum of $10.25 per hour.


Do you have a source for those figures?  I have a lot of skeptical friends and they’d insist on a source.

Lois

Thanks. That will do nicely.

Lois

Crucifying America - The Unholy Alliance Between the Christian Right and Wall Street - . J. Werleman

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Posted: 15 December 2013 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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garythehuman - 14 December 2013 05:00 PM

I know I’m not supposed to post things twice, but these figures show the realty of today’s situation for most of us.  So take into account when making your arguments.


For the years 1977 to 2010, the wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 281 percent, whereas the wealth of the middle class grew by 16 percent.  In that same period, the incomes of CEOs grew by 726 percent, whereas the average worker’s income grew by just 5.7 percent.

Today, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should now be $21.72 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.  Even on a pure inflationary comparison, sans productivity, wageworkers should be earning a minimum of $10.25 per hour.


These figures have nothing to do with the topic of the post. Cuthberts claim is that it is harder to find success these days if you have a dream and you work towards it. He then used an example of two entrepreneurs from the early 1900’s. 

I agree there is a huge disparity between the lowest earning workers and the top 1% but that doesn’t refute the idea that someone of modest means with a good idea and the talent and fortitude to follow it through most likely has the same odds of success if not more compared to someone in the last century.

If by “follow your dreams” Cuthbert really meant someone could get a job that paid a meaningful wage and work their way up through the company to retire on a nice pension then yes it is probably harder today but that is not how he framed the problem and that is an entirely different problem and a different discussion.

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Posted: 15 December 2013 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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From this article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/opinion/krugman-rich-mans-recovery.html?ref=paulkrugman

Equal opportunity?

In practice, however, the children of the wealthy benefit from opportunities and connections unavailable to children of the middle and working classes.

Rich man’s recovery?

Basically, while the great majority of Americans are still living in a depressed economy, the rich have recovered just about all their losses and are powering ahead.

The power of money versus effective democracy?

In any case, however, whatever is causing the growing concentration of income at the top, the effect of that concentration is to undermine all the values that define America. Year by year, we’re diverging from our ideals. Inherited privilege is crowding out equality of opportunity; the power of money is crowding out effective democracy.

And from this article http://inequality.org/unequal-americas-income-distribution/

What is the Gini coefficient?

The Gini coefficient amounts to a kind of percentage and can run from 0 to 100. A Gini of 0 represents 0 percent concentration in a country’s income distribution. In a country with a Gini coefficient of 0, everyone receives exactly the same income.

What does a Gini coefficient of 50 mean?

A Gini of 50 could mean that half the people share all of the income while the other half get nothing. In other words, a country that literally consisted of haves and have-nots in a 50-50 split would have a Gini coefficient of 50.

Bold added by me.

Obviously, this is unrealistic. However, what is possible in reality, is:

We could also have a Gini coefficient of 50 with the top 10 percent of a country’s population very well-off, the next 50 percent more or less equal, and the bottom 40 percent very poor.

With some fiddling around the edges, that’s more or less the situation in America today.

True or false?

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Posted: 15 December 2013 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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macgyver - 15 December 2013 09:07 AM

These figures have nothing to do with the topic of the post. Cuthberts claim is that it is harder to find success these days if you have a dream and you work towards it. He then used an example of two entrepreneurs from the early 1900’s. 

I agree there is a huge disparity between the lowest earning workers and the top 1% but that doesn’t refute the idea that someone of modest means with a good idea and the talent and fortitude to follow it through most likely has the same odds of success if not more compared to someone in the last century.

If by “follow your dreams” Cuthbert really meant someone could get a job that paid a meaningful wage and work their way up through the company to retire on a nice pension then yes it is probably harder today but that is not how he framed the problem and that is an entirely different problem and a different discussion.

I admit I may have helped this thread stray from the OP, but it’s an internet forum, not a college class. I was not clear on the original intent.

To repeat, the success of a few does not prove the system is working for the many. That some make it does not prove that opportunity is equal. It is not even valid evidence. It says we are better than a feudal system of 500 years ago, but that’s about all. I think Cuthbert was comparing now to about 50 years ago, not 100. That would be a valid comparison. It was a time when we were making advances in civil rights, solving problems of hunger, improving education, and taxing the rich to do it. But a lot of those dreams have died.

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Posted: 16 December 2013 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Lois - 15 December 2013 08:21 AM

Times change, that’s all. We live in a different world now. Some things are better some things are worse. It’s not as if we have any have control, we just have to make the best of it.  Complaining about how things have changed is like complaining about evolution.  As if someone said, “Life was much better when we were Neanderthals. Why can’t we go back to a simpler way of life? Just shoot your dinner, make clothes out of the skins, live in a cave.  No money, no taxes, no mortgage payments, no credit cards, no debt, no bureaucracy, no politicians, nobody trying to sell you something. It was better in those days.”

That is a weird attitude.  Like you are not supposed to try to understand things and figure anything out.

Just accept!

New technology means new opportunities but it also means new kinds of mistakes.

Since it occurred to me I find is so weird that we do not have a National Recommended Reading List if not more than one.

Different people would want to promote different biases.  But I think plenty of people want ignorance and confusion maintained so no lists really.

The Tyranny of Words (1938) by Stuart Chase
http://www.anxietyculture.com/tyranny.htm
http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8

The Screwing of the Average Man (1974) by David Hapgood
http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/rape10.shtml
http://www.amazon.com/screwing-average-man-David-Hapgood/dp/B0006W84KK

psik

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Posted: 17 December 2013 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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macgyver - 15 December 2013 09:07 AM
garythehuman - 14 December 2013 05:00 PM

I know I’m not supposed to post things twice, but these figures show the realty of today’s situation for most of us.  So take into account when making your arguments.


For the years 1977 to 2010, the wealth of the top 1 percent increased by 281 percent, whereas the wealth of the middle class grew by 16 percent.  In that same period, the incomes of CEOs grew by 726 percent, whereas the average worker’s income grew by just 5.7 percent.

Today, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.  But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should now be $21.72 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.  Even on a pure inflationary comparison, sans productivity, wageworkers should be earning a minimum of $10.25 per hour.


These figures have nothing to do with the topic of the post. Cuthberts claim is that it is harder to find success these days if you have a dream and you work towards it. He then used an example of two entrepreneurs from the early 1900’s. 

I agree there is a huge disparity between the lowest earning workers and the top 1% but that doesn’t refute the idea that someone of modest means with a good idea and the talent and fortitude to follow it through most likely has the same odds of success if not more compared to someone in the last century.

If by “follow your dreams” Cuthbert really meant someone could get a job that paid a meaningful wage and work their way up through the company to retire on a nice pension then yes it is probably harder today but that is not how he framed the problem and that is an entirely different problem and a different discussion.

Actually those figures have EVERYTHING to do with my OP.  In the “olden days” like early 1900’s a little went a long way and hard working people could buy things like movie projectors, hotdog stands, etc like the Loeb or Warner Brothers did.  Nowadays you need literally millions to start anything original OR you need connections to someone who has millions to invest. And the growing income gap ensures that hardworking middle class folks STAY OUT of innovation. (Yes there might be a few exceptions, but only a few.)

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Posted: 17 December 2013 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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CuthbertJ - 17 December 2013 04:26 PM

Actually those figures have EVERYTHING to do with my OP.  In the “olden days” like early 1900’s a little went a long way and hard working people could buy things like movie projectors, hotdog stands, etc like the Loeb or Warner Brothers did.  Nowadays you need literally millions to start anything original OR you need connections to someone who has millions to invest. And the growing income gap ensures that hardworking middle class folks STAY OUT of innovation. (Yes there might be a few exceptions, but only a few.)

Just from listening to interviews and few stories, after an education, I would say it takes around 1/4 million, some free space like your parent’s garage, and most importantly, a safety net. That is, if you fail, you can always just live in that garage until you work your way up to shift manager at the local fast food restaurant.

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Posted: 17 December 2013 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Cuthbert what makes you think the Loeb bros weren’t anything but one of the few exceptions in their own time.
I really don’t know where you’re getting your facts from when you say there are fewer such stories today. You’re just making stuff up to fit your view of the world

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Posted: 18 December 2013 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Here is another reason that it can be so hard to “reach your potential.”

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21591572-market-smart-people-clogged-up-all-manner-dubious-legal-restrictions-ties

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