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The Wealth Divide.
Posted: 11 April 2014 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest according to this Oxfam study.

Oxfam-Wealth

Also:

- Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

- The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

- In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

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Posted: 11 April 2014 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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This disparity of wealth and income correlates with many sorts of social ills.

But our contemporary Conservatives seem to believe that this disparity is the fault of those at the bottom and suggest that the poor and the dwindling middle class should simply be encouraged to lift themselves up.

Never, never, never would they (openly) support any social policies that would endanger those at the top from continuing to increase their relative wealth.

They will not even support social policies that could increase the absolute wealth of those at the top while also increasing the wealth of those at the bottom.

[ Edited: 11 April 2014 07:37 PM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 11 April 2014 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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But really.  How much wealth is enough?  It seems to me that, at some point, one would have sufficient wealth to provide for any natural need that they and their loved ones could have (that was actually attainable).  Beyond that, it seems to me that more wealth would simply be a means for exerting control over others.

It seems to me that with extraordinary wealth comes extraordinary power.  I’ve heard that with great power comes great responsibility.  But this, IMO, is just a moral rule of conduct, that is not necessarily followed by those with power.  Hence, the extraordinarily wealthy may or may not have any inherent sense of responsibility for others, that motivates them. 

So with the extraordinarily wealthy who don’t have a guiding sense of responsibility for others, if there are, also, no (or limited) social contingencies, in place, that protect the poor from the wealthy, then the poor are at their mercy.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 11 April 2014 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 11 April 2014 03:27 PM

The 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest according to this Oxfam study.

Oxfam-Wealth

Also:

- Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

- The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

- In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

It’s exactly as it should be, Libertarians and other capitalists would say.

Lois

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Posted: 13 April 2014 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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TimB - 11 April 2014 08:09 PM

But really.  How much wealth is enough?  It seems to me that, at some point, one would have sufficient wealth to provide for any natural need that they and their loved ones could have (that was actually attainable).  Beyond that, it seems to me that more wealth would simply be a means for exerting control over others.

It seems to me that with extraordinary wealth comes extraordinary power.  I’ve heard that with great power comes great responsibility.  But this, IMO, is just a moral rule of conduct, that is not necessarily followed by those with power.  Hence, the extraordinarily wealthy may or may not have any inherent sense of responsibility for others, that motivates them. 

So with the extraordinarily wealthy who don’t have a guiding sense of responsibility for others, if there are, also, no (or limited) social contingencies, in place, that protect the poor from the wealthy, then the poor are at their mercy.

It’s quite likely that some sort of pathology is involved, the very wealthy may in fact see themselves as always needing more in a pointless pursuit of absolute security through wealth.

When you look at how damaging such a unbalanced state is for all of us in the long term, it really doesn’t seem as if many people are operating at a rational level.

People like Bernie Madoff are good examples, he’s still unable to accept that what he did was wrong and the people responsible were those that “forced” him to take their money. It’s kind of scary when you do consider that people with so much power through their vast wealth probably have little in the way of genuine critical thinking ability. They could be going much more on instinct which is no longer appropriate to the kind of environment we’ve largely turned the world into.

Whatever the cause, the result is a socio-economic structure that is becoming increasingly more asymmetrical, something that nature will inevitably correct, probably in a very chaotic fashion.

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Posted: 13 April 2014 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TimB - 11 April 2014 08:09 PM

But really.  How much wealth is enough?  It seems to me that, at some point, one would have sufficient wealth to provide for any natural need that they and their loved ones could have (that was actually attainable).  Beyond that, it seems to me that more wealth would simply be a means for exerting control over others.

Exactly.

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Posted: 13 April 2014 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 13 April 2014 01:04 PM

It’s quite likely that some sort of pathology is involved, the very wealthy may in fact see themselves as always needing more in a pointless pursuit of absolute security through wealth.

When you look at how damaging such a unbalanced state is for all of us in the long term, it really doesn’t seem as if many people are operating at a rational level.

No Fuzzy. This must be looked at as a political issue.  It isn’t a pathological issue. 90%(just a guess) of people would behave the same way if they could.
It’s natural.  The only thing to check it is politics and laws.

You have to approach this issue rationally.  Wealth is power. People love power.
Only politics or force can check power.

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Posted: 13 April 2014 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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VYAZMA - 13 April 2014 01:21 PM
Fuzzy Logic - 13 April 2014 01:04 PM

It’s quite likely that some sort of pathology is involved, the very wealthy may in fact see themselves as always needing more in a pointless pursuit of absolute security through wealth.

When you look at how damaging such a unbalanced state is for all of us in the long term, it really doesn’t seem as if many people are operating at a rational level.

No Fuzzy. This must be looked at as a political issue.  It isn’t a pathological issue. 90%(just a guess) of people would behave the same way if they could.
It’s natural.  The only thing to check it is politics and laws.

You have to approach this issue rationally.  Wealth is power. People love power.
Only politics or force can check power.

Since we’re just making up numbers, I posit that 90% is way off. Most people are perfectly happy if the people around them are happy. They aren’t out to conquer the world. Nor are they so paranoid that they need the money to make themselves feel secure. Even people who luck into a big income without inventing the next big thing or working 80 hour weeks, simply quit while they are ahead. It is a sort of sickness to accumulate that much stuff.

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Posted: 13 April 2014 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Lois - 11 April 2014 08:31 PM

It’s exactly as it should be, Libertarians and other capitalists would say.

Confirmation bias.

And you obviously don’t have a clue as to what libertarianism is. You’ve created a straw man argument, which means you have no argument. You can’t argue any actual points, so you create something you think you can argue against. A cowardly tactic.


Sound familiar?  wink

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Posted: 13 April 2014 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Rocinante - 13 April 2014 05:06 PM
Lois - 11 April 2014 08:31 PM

It’s exactly as it should be, Libertarians and other capitalists would say.

Confirmation bias.

And you obviously don’t have a clue as to what libertarianism is. You’ve created a straw man argument, which means you have no argument. You can’t argue any actual points, so you create something you think you can argue against. A cowardly tactic.


Sound familiar?  wink

Simply mocking someone’s argument is not an argument either. And it doesn’t follow that Lois has no argument from the lack of details presented so far.

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Posted: 13 April 2014 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I wasn’t mocking.  I was trying to make a point.

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

—James Madison

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Posted: 13 April 2014 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Fuzzy Logic - 11 April 2014 03:27 PM

The 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest according to this Oxfam study.

Oxfam-Wealth

Also:

- Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.

- The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.

- In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

And these are the people who insist they are being overtaxed!

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Posted: 13 April 2014 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Rocinante - 13 April 2014 05:06 PM
Lois - 11 April 2014 08:31 PM

It’s exactly as it should be, Libertarians and other capitalists would say.

Confirmation bias.

And you obviously don’t have a clue as to what libertarianism is. You’ve created a straw man argument, which means you have no argument. You can’t argue any actual points, so you create something you think you can argue against. A cowardly tactic.


Sound familiar?  wink

Tell me what you think libertarianism is since you are so sure I don’t know what it is. Enlighten me! Tell me what I have wrong since you can apparently read my mind.

Lois

[ Edited: 13 April 2014 07:31 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 13 April 2014 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Rocinante - 13 April 2014 06:03 PM

I wasn’t mocking.  I was trying to make a point.

Well, I’ve missed it. Maybe you can expand on it.

Lois

[ Edited: 13 April 2014 07:31 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 14 April 2014 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Lausten - 13 April 2014 05:02 PM

It is a sort of sickness to accumulate that much stuff.

No it is not a sickness.
Don’t be ridiculous.
What is the type of disorder?  Do you have a name for it?
Viewing it as some sort of sickness is a way of living with blinders on. It’s a way of convincing yourself that you’re ok
and the Uber-wealthy are somehow defective.  A neat little subconscious trade-off to make yourself feel better as you plainly see
people living the Supreme Good Life and controlling your life for their gain.

I would definitely say that this form of “blindness” is a more of a sickness…as long as we’re throwing ideas around…

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 14 April 2014 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You need a certain gap between the best and worse off for people to be motivated to behave in certain ways and for people’s happiness, they need to have hope for the future.

But there is no reason to go beyond that and if we do some people simply have more than their fair share and others less. Being rich rarely makes people happy whilst not having enough does make people unhappy.

The situation is sadly ridiculous.

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