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Old 01-24-2014, 01:22 PM   #21
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

Republicans to the Poor: You Built That!

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Life is not a Horatio Alger novel, and whether you’re poor or rich has a lot—if not everything—to do with circumstances beyond your control, from the wealth and education of your parents, to the circumstances of your environment, the policies of your government, and the broad structure of your environment.

But don’t tell that to Republican voters.

According to a new survey on inequality and public opinion from the Pew Research Center, Republicans are more likely than anyone else to have an Alger-style view of class and mobility. Fifty-seven percent say that “working harder than others” has more to do with a person being rich than anything else, despite the clear fact that “hard work” isn’t rewarded equally. When asked about inherited advantages, however, only 32 percent say they play a big part.

On the other side of things, 51 percent of Republicans say that a “lack of effort” is mainly to blame if a person is poor. That poverty has something to do with circumstances is dismissed; just 32 percent say that things “beyond control” are to blame for people being poor.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Democrats hold the opposite view. Just 27 percent say that wealth is the product of hard work and effort; 63 percent say that previous advantages are the key to the upper class, a view that jibes with research on economic mobility in the United States. Overall, if you’re born near the bottom—or stationed at the top—you’re likely to stay there. That’s not to say that movement can’t happen, but it’s not common.

This poll offers useful context for conservative rhetoric. When Mitt Romney disparages the “47 percent” or when GOP lawmakers show insensitivity to the poor, they are—in one way or another—expressing the views of their constituents, who are skeptical that government can help the poor, and view class status in terms of personal responsibility.

Indeed, it also explains the GOP’s focus on marriage and culture as explanations for disadvantage. After all, if behavior causes poverty, than the obvious solution is to encourage better behavior. In this view, new programs—or greater funding for existing ones—would only exacerbate “dependency.”

The ugly aspect to this narrative, of course, is the idea that impoverished communities deserve the blame for their own immiseration. It’s “cultural pathology” that explains the disadvantage of inner-city African Americans, not the policies that isolated communities and robbed them of opportunity.

In any case, it’s not hard to sum up the views of many Republican voters on wealth and inequality. If you have a high income, you built that, and if you don’t, you built that too.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:27 PM   #22
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

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House Dems To Discuss “Income Inequality” At Posh Hotel Where Cheapest Room Is $695 A Night…

Democrats have made the issue of “income inequality” the cornerstone of their platform going into the November elections. In less than two months, the House Democrats will discuss this and other issues at the swanky and posh St. Regis hotel in Manhattan. Rooms start at $695 a night if you would like to join them.



Of course, you can’t simply show up at the DCCC’s “Issues Conference.” According to the email invitation, “[t]his annual Issues Conference is open to 2014 DCCC Business and Labor Council Platinum Members and to our 2014 Chairman’s Council Members.” I’m not certain what it takes to be a “plantinum member,” but I imagine it takes the kind of money that doesn’t blink at a $695 hotel room. Helpfully, the DCCC says you can contact them to determine one’s “eligibility.”



Democrats are always whining that a disproportionate amount of Americans are victims of “income inequality,” but what lawmakers don’t mention is that their comments are completely hypocritical.



House Democrats are vowing to make income inequality a primary issue in 2014. What’s their first step—a swanky meeting at the posh St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. The cheapest room at the St. Regis sells for $695 per night.



Gee, I wonder who’s picking up that bill?



This “Issues Conference” is only open to Democratic members of the House and “platinum members” of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi will undoubtedly be attending the lavish conference. With a new worth of over $100 million, I wonder what she’ll have to say about her constituents’ income inequality.
http://weaselzippers.us/house-dems-t...s-695-a-night/
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

Vote independent/third party. Nothing changes until more people embrace this idea.

I know, I know.... I'm "throwing my vote away". Tell me, when you continually vote Democrat and Republican in every election and things just seem to get worse and worse, who's truly "throwing their vote away"?

I'd rather attempt to affect change by trying something different than re-writing the definition of insanity.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:43 PM   #24
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

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Vote independent/third party. Nothing changes until more people embrace this idea.

I know, I know.... I'm "throwing my vote away". Tell me, when you continually vote Democrat and Republican in every election and things just seem to get worse and worse, who's truly "throwing their vote away"?

I'd rather attempt to affect change by trying something different than re-writing the definition of insanity.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:44 PM   #25
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

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BINGO! This man gets it!

Although I'd rather liken it to something closer to this.

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:14 PM   #26
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

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Originally Posted by Buddha Bus View Post
Vote independent/third party. Nothing changes until more people embrace this idea.

I know, I know.... I'm "throwing my vote away". Tell me, when you continually vote Democrat and Republican in every election and things just seem to get worse and worse, who's truly "throwing their vote away"?

I'd rather attempt to affect change by trying something different than re-writing the definition of insanity.

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Old 01-24-2014, 05:18 PM   #27
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

The solution to the problem is clear - everyone just needs to get off their ass and become a senior executive at Google

I attended two very different and interesting events in Davos on Thursday. A “fireside chat” with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, and financier George Soros’ annual media dinner. While both touched on issues of foreign affairs, inequality, and conflict, they couldn’t have been more different in tone and style.

I’ll start with Schmidt’s event, which references (I have to assume intentionally) the talks that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously gave the American people in the hard years following the Great Depression from 1933 to 1944. FDR used his radio broadcasts to reassure the nation and explain how the new and expanded social compact of the New Deal would bolster jobs and create a safety net through the tough times.

Schmidt’s address, moderated by the Economist editor John Micklethwait, was given to a room of about 50 “thought leaders,” CEOs (Marissa Mayer was two seats down from me), and seriously rich people. The message was that tech related job destruction was just beginning, inequality was going to get worse, and the solution was for the population to educate themselves into being entrepreneurs so they could survive this new era. Not to mention leverage the software and gadgets created by people like him to better prosper. Technology will, according to Schmidt, vastly improve education, along with nearly every other public service, like healthcare. Although as one non-profit worker pointed out at a previous session, it won’t make it covered by insurance.

While I think Schmidt cares about these issues, and is trying to help, the whole event made me think what a naïve and even dangerously insular bubble tech titans live in. Let’s put aside the tone deafness of throwing an FDR reference into a talk to the 0.01 % at the Intercontinental Hotel in Davos. Behavioral economics tells us we all have our biases. And the idea that the majority of the population can become entrepreneurs or even just juggle entrepreneur type “portfolio” careers in lieu of a decently paying job is a Silicon Valley bias if I ever heard one. As anyone who’s worked in micro-finance will tell you, only a limited number of people are cut out to handle that level of risk.

What about giving folks a bit more of a hand, a la FDR? When Schmidt was asked by a New York Times reporter about wealth redistribution and whether companies like Google (which pays a tax rate of 19 %) should put more in IRS coffers since they are taking a historically unprecedented piece of the wealth pie, his answer was essentially that higher taxes on capital would squelch innovation. This is flat-out wrong. As Warren Buffett is fond of pointing out, the overall level of R & D spending and innovation in this country was much higher in the US in the 1950s, when the tax rate was far higher. Not to mention the fact that Google has more money to spend on R & D than it knows what to do with (perhaps that’s why so much of its cash is sitting dormant in bank accounts around the world).

The hubris of the tech titans is such that they talk about how their products can save education and healthcare, while waving away questions about whether we need a new social compact that would require them to actually put their money where their mouth is. I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: I truly believe that if the tech industry isn’t careful, they are going to take the place of finance as the fulcrum for public rage in an increasingly unequal economic era, one in which, according to McKinsey, 230 million jobs and $9 trillion in income are going to be at risk of being done by computers over the next few years.

Indeed, Schmidt could have taken lessons from a financier, George Soros, on how to generate good PR and real collaboration around a big issue. The financier usually devotes his annual dinner to talking about some market idea—Eurobonds, how animal spirits influence traders. This year, he gave the whole thing over to garnering multilateral support for humanitarian aid in Syria, inviting a group of the world’s best informed aid workers, internationalists (Kofi Annan, Mark Malloch Brown), government officials and Syrians themselves (from businessmen to refugees) to talk about what’s really happening on the ground in a crisis that is on track to be the worst (in human loss and suffering terms) of the last decade. Soros is no saint, but it was clear that he still believed in the power of government and civil society – aided (but not replaced by) business – to do something. I found that one of the most hopeful things I’d seen in Davos this year.


http://business.time.com/2014/01/24/...of-two-titans/

Schmidt's proposed solution is about as helpful as it would be if the Manning brothers and Ben proposed that the answer to raising yiour income is to be a NFL first round QB draft pick.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

i like obama cause he always won
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #29
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

And for anyone who cannot get hired on as a senior exec at Google, go for those numerous jobs where you can get your compensation raised as a bank CEO from a pittance of $11.5 million after a year in which your company forked over $13 billion to DOJ in mortgage fraud payments while separately being under investigation for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to the hiring of relatives of senior officials in the Chinese government.

Fined Billions, JPMorgan Chase Will Give Dimon a Raise

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/...ise-for-chief/

After a year in which J.P. Morgan Chase agreed to more than $20 billion in legal payouts and posted its first quarterly loss since the financial crisis, Chief Executive James Dimon received a 74% jump in compensation.

The increase brought Mr. Dimon's pay for 2013 to $20 million from the $11.5 million he pulled in for 2012
.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...LEFTTopStories

Opportunities are everywhere
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:29 PM   #30
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Default Re: World Economic Forum: Income Gap Poses Biggest Threat to Global Economy

On a difficulty scale of 1-10, the best ways to 'get rich':

1: Be born into wealth (most popular in the East coast, Silicon Valley, Seattle and parts of Texas)

1: Write crappy teen fiction. (Kids are stupid. Don't ever forget this. Exploit them.)

2: Be ridiculously good looking (note: this method becomes easier if you're also born rich; see 1 above)

2: Inherit wealth after a family member dies (spinoff of 1 above). You didn't really know Uncle Cornelius, and you didn't earn his money, but you will most certainly take it. It's the American way!

3: Marry a wealthy person (note: this method becomes easier if you're ridiculously good looking; see 2 above)

4: Strip, prostitute, and/or sleep your way to the top (a possible precursor to 3 above). Look, such people have no souls, but they're rich. (note: this method becomes easier if you're ridiculously good looking; see 2 above) CAUTION: Odds are you will end up with a number of STDs. But you'll be rich enough to afford the medication, so... one hand washes the other (speaking of washing, go take a shower; you smell like stank).

5: Get lucky (code for 'sex tape', 'do a game/reality show', 'crappy pop hit', winning the lotto or other random modern media fairy tales). The 'mixed cocktail' of all of the above/below.

6: Steal someone else's (a smarter person's) invention (a spinoff of 9 below). (Hey, it worked for Mark Zuckerberg and he got a movie made after him!)

8: Sell drugs, commit identity theft, start ponzi scheme, etc. (AKA crime). I've heard it doesn't pay. CAUTION: Odds are you will be killed or imprisoned by age 30. But screw it. YOLO, amirite?

9: Invent something

10: Get a college degree (or two), work hard, don't have kids until after you graduate college and get a decent job, and save/invest what you can (of course, this mostly only moves you to 'upper middle class' where your children will be born rich and reap the benefits of your hard work...) (note: this is the most realistic option for an upwards of 70% of the population, but the 'path less traveled')

10: Train to be a top-athlete (hey, even most bench players make six figures!). CAUTION: be sure to avoid pratfalls such as drugs and troublesome 'friends' (ain't that right, Aaron Hernandez???)

Any questions?
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