Senate Income Inequality in the U.S.: Causes, Effects, Solutions

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jedi Merkurian, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    Credit the examples used what you will, but an article done by a prestigious business school is still more credible than your flat out, unsupported rejection of the claim. It was also a major component of Joe Stiglitz's book Freefall that I read. Outside of straight out stock options, executives also had the incentive to raise share prices with risky behavior for shareholders in the short-run without inclination for the long-run because they were awarded for their short-term performance with bonuses. A simple Google search will provide other examples and articles, which I can more than happily provide - I'm finishing up a project right now but can sort them out tomorrow.

    Again, this. Citibank just settled a lawsuit for $300 million because they sold fraudulent mortgages and then bet against them, highlighting some of the crimes of the financial crisis that have pissed so many in the OWS movement off. Their executives knowingly bet against these fraudulent investments and walked away with millions at the expense of others. Matt Damon
  2. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Of course, I never said they were the same. They are related to each other though. First off, let me address some of your specifics:

    Again, this. Citibank just settled a lawsuit for $300 million because they sold fraudulent mortgages and then bet against them, highlighting some of the crimes of the financial crisis that have pissed so many in the OWS movement off.

    Then I would suggest that you go protest Citibank, if that's what you want. But I would also point out that nothing would be gained by protesting this example, because the practices aren't ongoing, and the penalty has already been assessed. Goldman-Sachs was used as an above example. But Goldman-Sachs was first allowed to tie its finances to the market by issuing an IPO back in 1999, when Clinton was President. I'm not blaming Clinton-the example is larger than blame, because the practice continued under Bush. But where was the outrage then? In fact, ironically, such deregulation in both the financial market and the tech industry helped Clinton grow the "paper surplus" which was so celebrated during the latter part of his term. Oh yeah, but times were good, and Clinton was passing around cigars, so no one cared. Even now, the entire movement is a day late and a dollar short. Lehman Brothers is another example that is mentioned. But Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, was broken up and no longer exists in its former form. So be angry over what Lehman Brothers did, but also realize that there is no remedy that sitting in the park is going to fix in relation to what the board of that company did. It would be like continuing to protest the Vietnam War in 1991 while Desert Storm was going on, regardless of the fact that by that time, Vietnam was over for 16 some odd years. If for some reason there are people who want to irrationally transfer their emotions against all "large banks," or "all big companies," have at it, but it's going to be pointless. The bottom line is that if you want to change a practice, focus on the practice. If Fraudulent practices are what caused a problem, then address that fraud. This has nothing to do with getting all worked up over the fact that the heirs to Sam Walton's fortune are worth 30 billion dollars.

    This latest exchange was brought about because a couple of pages back, the idea of "income disparity" was mentioned, remember? It was said that CEO's earned more in a day than workers earned in a year. That's the reason why I asked about sports figures/celebrities/etc... Because the same thing applies to them. Everyone then jumped through all these hoops to justify why celebrities weren't bad, but CEO's were. Even you mentioned that it's not about straight salary, but then all your examples focus on nothing but the amount of salary, which contradicts each other. This is why it's still being discussed pages later, because there hasn't been a consistent argument put forth any more substantive than "actors work hard for their money, and CEO's just sit on their assess, and that's the difference...so there..."


  3. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    No, it's not more credible in this case, because the evidence presented doesn't back up the claims.

    The specific claim was that executive stock options vesting too quickly encourages them to pump up the stock price for short-term gains. I asked you for a specific example, and you returned with a paragraph about Angelo Mozilo. Let's look at that paragraph bit by bit.

    Existing compensation schemes typically have short vesting periods that allow executives to reap the rewards of their actions before their full effect may be realized.

    This is an assertion, the same one that you just made. The focus is on short vesting periods for stock options. So far, so good.

    As an example, Edmans points to Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of Countrywide Financial, who made $129 million from stock sales in the 12 months prior to the start of the subprime crisis, which sent Countrywide shares tumbling and led to the firm's acquisition by Bank of America.

    Note how that line starts with "As an example"? That means that the information he's about to give is supposed to support the assertion he made in the previous sentence. So, what evidence does he give? The actions of Angelo Mozilo.

    Except, as the evidence I presented shows, Angelo Mozilo had been CEO of Countrywide Financial for 8-9 years prior to his stock sales in the example. That's long enough for him to have fully vested in any stock options under most executive compensation plans (which, as I posted and New_York_Jedi backed up with a link, are typically 3-5 years). In fact, that's 2-3 times the typical vesting period. (And that's not even counting any unexercised stock options Mozilo may have received in the 29 years he spent with the company prior to becoming the CEO.) That's hardly a "short vesting period" based on the information available.

    Yes, it's a documentable fact that Mozilo made $129 million in stock sales between Aug 2006 and Aug 2007. Howev
  4. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    However, the point that I raised is that the financial industry has been actively opposing any effort aimed at preventing them from resuming these practices whenever they felt like it.
    Actully the argument, which has been consistent (at least when I've posted, and apparently shinjo agrees), is that financial executives are a much greater priority than athletes and entertainers because they have a more far-reaching national and global impact.

    Or do you disagree?
  5. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    I've glanced through the past few pages, and while I don't have time to comment further right now, I do want to say for any number of reasons how incredibly lame I think the Hollywood comparison is.

    Anyway, I think the overall point regarding banks, as has been stated repeatedly, was summed up by John Huntsman in last nights debate:

    We have six banks in this country that combined have assets worth 66 percent of our nation's GDP, $9.4 trillion. These institutions get hit. They have an implied bailout by the taxpayers in this country, and that means that we are setting ourselves up for disaster again.

    As long as we have banks that are "too big to fail" in this country, we are going to catch the contagion and it's going to hurt us. We have got to get back to a day and age where we have properly sized banks and financial institutions.




  6. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    Another reason why I have some respect for Huntsman, and disdain for the current state of the GOP. This is a reasonable fellow, who therefore stands no chance in the primaries. To be fair, Congress had legislation in the works for "too big to fail = too big to exist," but they wimped out on it when opponents mischaracterized it as "unlimited bailouts." Congress lost a lot of my respect right then and there.
  7. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I've glanced through the past few pages, and while I don't have time to comment further right now, I do want to say for any number of reasons how incredibly lame I think the Hollywood comparison is.

    Of course you do. But then to be honest, it's also kind of lame within the confines of a debate format for anyone to come in and post "There are a number of reasons why I think "X" is so, I just can't name any of them right now." If you can't name any reasons, why did you feel that you had to post that you can't?

    But again, the only reason this has dragged on for so long is because everyone is bending so far over backward to prove that celebrities are different, you can hear the spines snapping all over the internet. The initial focus was on income inequality. The specific idea was "that it was disappointing that CEO's made more in a day than their employees made in a year." In that context, I asked why no one was protesting celebrities then... And in response, we had a bunch of replies about how celebrities were different, and how it's not about the total amount of salary (despite the obvious contradiction that all the counter-points focus almost exclusively on total salary), and how important it is to clarify that celebrities aren't the worst offenders-only the second worst, and about how celebrities work hard and CEO's don't.... All of which have nothing to do with income inequality, and which don't illustrate any differences with regards to the topic.

    Jabba came closest to any kind of solid example when he put forth the idea that the high salaries paid to top tier actors directly impact the employment of regular craftsmen and trades people within the industry, which is a valid point. Using Jabba's example as a starting point, I asked how people felt if a production received 100 million dollars in tax rebates, but 60 million of that went to pay jut 3 actors? And the closest answer received was Merk claiming that was a red herring, and he wouldn't discuss it, all despite the fact that it is a perfect example of gross income disparity and its impact on the working class.

    If you guys just want to cut through all the red tape, just collectively come together and all admit that you really don't care about the issue. That you only think income inequality is bad depending on who is more equal. The simple fact is that celebrities are supposed to be "left," and CEO's are supposed to be "right." So of course, you'll find all sorts of justifications as to why the huge compensation paid to celebrities doesn't illustrate income disparity, but huge compensation paid to CEO's certainly does, and it doesn't matter what the specifics are. Unfortunately, these perception based exceptions are precisely why nothing will ever get accomplished in this area, and why it's so hypocritical.
  8. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Mr44 you seem to be ignoring those of us who point out the disparate impact between "highly paid" business impacting the economy in a negative manner (when done) and celebrities who merely impact our pocketbook via voluntary "forking out."

    I repeat what I said previously - it's not the income disparity per se, but the fact that they (some) are gaining economic ground while the vast majority of American are stagnating. It is the growing gulf, not the gulf itself.
  9. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44

    Here's the short answer.

    The many reasons are the many reasons that people keep stating. However you've hijacked this thread to go on a diatribe about Hollywood. You're twisting and giving short shrift to people's arguments vis-a-vis celebrities. We get that it bothers you, the alleged hypocrisy. I think people just want to move on and discuss something that is actually relevant.

    I asked how people felt if a production received 100 million dollars in tax rebates, but 60 million of that went to pay jut 3 actors?

    Did an actual production receive $100 mil in rebates and $60 mil go to 3 actors?

    Anyway, a tax rebate/credit is entirely different from a bailout. A tax rebate (or incentive/credit) is to encourage a corporation (or individual) to set up shop in a certain area and/or behave economically in a certain way. A bailout is the gov?t directly giving money to a failing enterprise that would collapse without it. The conservative PM of Britain just approved a continuation of tax benefits to film production. I think Pennsylvania did the same to attract the new Batman movie. Tax incentives/rebates/credits permeate our system, regardless of industry, and are part of the norm, for better or worse. Changing this falls under tax reform, not bailouts.

    But I guess since both involve money, then they are the same thing.

    Jabba also asked why we are still talking about the Hollywood connection when the financial sector is such a bigger part of the economy, you just chose to ignore this. I'm not so sure that entertainers high incomes are hurting the middle class (SAG provides benefits and good day/weekly rates), but the entertainment industry doesn't function like any other industry. No other industry has as many people competing for as few jobs. But this isn't really relevant.

    So basically this thread has turned into:

    various posters ?I have an issue with excessive CEO pay and the financial sector?

    Mr44 ?But what about Hollywood?!? [insert unfunny Matt Damon joke]?

    various posters ?Yea, they may be overpaid, maybe not. I feel like I have some control over what I spend on entertainment. Either way they didn?t receive bailouts nor is Hollywood as large a part of the economy as the financial sector. Also, median CEO pay is $9 million. Average worker pay is $40-50k. Is that right? We've provided an interesting editorial from Forbes, not exactly the bastion of liberal thought."

    Also see - http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-jaw-droppping-pay-gap-between-workers-ceos-2010-09-01

    Mr44 ?But what about Hollywood?!? [insert unfunny Matt Damon joke]?

    various posters ?They didn?t receive bailouts. Is it worth it to try and protest a few actors or atheletes that may be paid too much, or should they target an industry where certain members have received direct bailouts, fight any sense of reform, have a direct/implicit guarantee from the feds, and have a tremendous amount of influence over both political parties??

    Mr44 ?But what about Hollywood?!? [insert unfunny Matt Damon joke]?

    various posters ?OK. we get it. You don?t like that people won?t get as apoplectic over something that not even the GOP really cares about. Even in last nights debate, they discussed the problem with our financial sector. See, Huntsman/John. So basically in one corner publications from Forbes to Rolling Stone and both parties are talking about the banking/financial sector as well as CEO pay, as well as everyone else in this thread. In the other corner is you, going on and on and on about Hollywood?

    Mr44 ?But what about Hollywood?!? [insert unfunny Matt Damon joke]?

    OK, fine. Hollywood sucks. Can we move on?







  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, first off, I never went on a diatribe against Hollywood. My own viewpoint is if actors can get someone to pay what they ask, then more power to them. My original point was that if you want to rally against income inequality, you have to look at such examples across the board. If you actually go back and re-read this thread, my original Hollywood point wasn't a large focus, nor was it contained in any rant. What was just so amazing was to see people bend over backwards to defend such celebrities, even as the very points that were being raised applied to them. This is the only reason why this has gone on for so long. Your recreation should look like this:

    USER X- I hate the income disparity that CEO's represent over regular workers.
    Mr44-(insert unfunny Matt Damon joke) If that's your concern, why aren't celebrities/athletes being protested along with CEO's then?
    USER X- Celebrities aren't a problem when it comes to income disparity!
    Mr44(insert unfunny Matt Damon joke) I don't see the difference. Don't both represent such disparity?
    USER X-just accept that celebrities are good and CEO's are bad.
    Mr44-I can't, because it makes no sense to me if the goal is to examine disparity across the board.
    USER X-red herring! red herring! quit hijacking the thread.

    There have been good kernels within this exchange, after all. The idea of artificially limiting celebrities/athlete's pay was brought up. If the most any specific actor could earn was a set figure like $250,000 per movie, would this allow for more movies to be made? Ticket prices to come down? Would this have a spill over into other areas like CEO compensation? But then as a counter-point, the idea of compensation as its tied to risk was also brought up. If this practice was taken away, would there be no incentive to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? The idea of rewarding performance with bonuses was another topic with relates to both these examples. All these are relevant questions wrapped within the prior celebrity discussion. The problem is what is "relevant?" If you just want to complain about a bailout but ignore everything else, I don't see the relevance there either.

    Tax incentives/rebates/credits permeate our system, regardless of industry, and are part of the norm, for better or worse. Changing this falls under tax reform, not bailouts.

    Right, but don't both illustrate the same overall issue? If tax incentives permeate our system, the goal of them is to get the recipient to pump money back into the local economy that is offering the incentives. This effect is diminished if the actual rebate only goes to a handful of highly paid actors. It destroys the entire spirit of the rebate. Along the same lines, if a bailout is given to a company, and 26,000 jobs are saved as a result, isn't that an effective use of the bailout? It's certainly different than if a bailout is given, and a portion of it just goes back to bonuses for a few upper level executives. However, according to the big picture, do you not see how both rebates and/or bailouts can be used or abused, and they actually do have this in common?

    The second point regarding bailouts is something that's already been mentioned as well. Bailouts are not a regular practice. If bailouts occurred every year as a matter of routine or policy, then you might have a point. There was a round of bailouts that are over, of which most institutions have already repaid with interest. There's no remedy that getting all worked up in 2011 will fix, because the bailouts are over, and the results have already happened. Not to mention the fact that the majority of large corporations in the US didn't receive any kind of bailout, so we're talking about a handful within a handful of examples here as well. If you think that celebrities are too narrow of a sample for any kind of relevant discussion, the number of companies that actually received a bailout is even more narrow in focus. If you want to focus on the effectiveness of the bailouts, then focus on the performance of the companies after they were received.
  11. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    May 25, 2000
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    [image=http://www.mommyinthemirror.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/daniel-jackson.jpg]
    Ummmm...no...

    The "defense" of actors vs. CEOs is that the boards of financial companies have a far greater global impact than Hollywood actors, and thus warrant greater attention from Occupiers. Or do you disagree?
  12. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Fine - let's limit EVERYONE to the exact same pay.

    Right.

    SOME of us want a thoughtful response that does NOT focus on high pay for certain entertainers (sports, movies, whatever) and certain CEO's compared to the "average" American.

    We are asking what about those certain executives who profit (often though not always by running their company into the ground, laying off workers, etc.) and manage to increase their relative income at a time when other wages are stagnating. (For example, I have not had a cost of living, let alone other, pay increase in six years. I do have a job, and I am grateful for that.)

    Is it impossible to get a discussion on this issue?

    Quite frankly, I think the question is being deflected by this insane focusing on "well, so and so makes a lot relative to others in that field." I don't care what Matt Damon or Julia Roberts make - it's my choice or not to make him or her a box office draw.

    When certain financial institutions go wild and drag down the economy and certain of those executives walk away with millions while the economy tanks (and I favored the bailouts because though I pay my mortgage, my condo value could - and did - suffer when others brought down the whole housing market); while many are laid off and no longer able to contribute to the economy...well, that is what *I* consider a problem.

    Not an entertainer's pay.
  13. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Wall Street is just a proxy for a broader frustration, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a practical, sensible approach to protests because the financial sector has soaked up such a large and ever-increasing percentage of the economy over the last 20 years. It's practical because, as they say, the banks got socialism while individual homeowners had to make do with capitalism. Sweden and Iceland let their banks fail and instead protected taxpayers. And they've turned things around.
  14. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44

    Are entertainers/athletes overpaid? Probably. I view them like I view a business where I have a choice not to buy what they're selling. Are country music stars overpaid? Howabout Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al? My attitude with them is the same as other celebrities, again, in that I can choose not to buy what they're selling. One proposal from the left/Democrats is a slight tax increase on incomes over $1mil. I don't think there is a 'left-leaning celebrity' exemption.

    but don't both [incentives and bailouts] illustrate the same overall issue?

    No, they don't. They both have something to do with the economy, but that's about it.

    And you keep trying to minimize the issue, as if it were just a few small, tiny companies, no big deal. Here's a (partial) list:

    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/national/200904_CREDITCRISIS/recipients.html

    Let me know how many celebrities you find on that list.

    This effect is diminished if the actual rebate only goes to a handful of highly paid actors.

    The rebate goes to the studio/production company, not to the actors. Hence why limiting actors pay to $250k, the studio could just pocket the rest of the money.

    Your comparisons boil down to that they both have something to do with the economy. They are entirely different. I guess robbing someone and giving it to someone else gives that person money, therefore robbing = tax credit = bailout.

    You can't say on one hand a small percentage of companies received bailouts, but then use that statement to try and support an idea that all CEO pay is bad because of income disparity.

    No one is saying all CEO pay is bad, and this has been clarified several times, hence why I'm going to stick with my recreation.

    Where people have problems with CEO pay, as has been repeated ad nauseam, is when it is excessive as compared to performance, set by cronyism, both or for other reasons as stated in that Forbes article. As stated in the Forbes article, my guess is people are fine with CEO?s like Ralph Lauren earning a ton of cash, he?s the entreprenauer. That people wonder why CEO pay has increased exponentially as compared to the average worker is also a fair question.

    I'll make a better argument for you...why should GM receive a bailout but not banks?

    VS

    When certain financial institutions go wild and drag down the economy and certain of those executives walk away with millions while the economy tanks (and I favored the bailouts because though I pay my mortgage, my condo value could - and did - suffer when others brought down the whole housing market); while many are laid off and no longer able to contribute to the economy...well, that is what *I* consider a problem.

    Right. I had a response, but Jabba summed it up very nicely.
  15. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    So I was looking into a bit of information about the Eisenhower Administration, and it raised a few questions in my mind.

    The ?postwar era,? 1945 to about 1970 ?the 50?s in particular- was considered the greatest economic boom period in modern times for the U.S., correct? It?s widely considered a time of great prosperity for every economic group. However, some of the policies from that era are utter anathema to our current political climate. The uppermost tax rate from 1950-1963 was 91% (it was 94% in 1945), compared to 35% today. President Eisenhower signed into law the Federal Highway Act of 1956, modernizing the infrastructure of the time in a massive act of job creation. It was paid for by tax levies, making Ike a ?tax and spend liberal? :p It was the biggest Keynesian economic effort since?.World War II.

    With a bunch of our military coming home as with WWII, and conservatives who love to go on about ?how things used to be,? why don?t we do things the way they used to be done, especially considering?y?know?it worked?
  16. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    President Obama has launched into some pretty fierce rhetoric in pushing for the payroll tax cut extension, but is opposed by the very same folks fought tooth and nail to extend the Bush-era tax cut on upper income earners. There was even a quote by Michelle Bachmann saying that the payroll tax cuts didn't produce jobs, so it should expire. Nevermind that under the Bush-era cuts, the job creation rate was the worse rate on record :rolleyes:

    I must say that I like the way that Obama has merged the Occupy rhetoric with that of his '04 DNC speech and '08 campaign rhetoric, i.e., "we're not the 99% or the 1%, we're all Americans."
  17. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I noticed that as well. The party that claims to be so anti-tax as shown its true colors. They are only anti-tax for those who make over $250K. If the poor and middle class get a tax hike, that's perfectly OK.

    Reminds me of the Reagan years, which I'm sure is their point. I'm always surprised when I hear that the Reagan years were fantastic for "productive Americans". Seems to go along with the mentality that only people who make in the triple digits are "productive," and ignores the reality that some careers simply do not pay that kind of salary.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Our job creators, the rich, were apparently rewarded lavishly this year for...not creating any jobs.

    Revealed: huge increase in executive pay for America's top bosses

    The richest half of Americans control virtually all the nation's wealth, with the top 1% controlling a third, the top 9% after that controlling a third, and the rest of the top half controlling the better part of a third. The bottom half owns a few measly percentage points of the nation's wealth.

    The rich don't create jobs. It's an ecosystem of entrepreneurial activity and people who can afford to buy goods and services that creates jobs. The rich support regressive taxation at their own peril by threatening to collapse the ecosystem that feeds their wealth.

    Today's simple message: we're under no obligation to reward the rich for creating jobs if they aren't creating any jobs.
  19. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Now there's a compaign slogan if I ever heard one! Too bad it won't be used as one.
  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I saw this recently on consumer delveraging:

    Household Debt as a Percentage of GDP

    1980: 50.1%
    1990: 61.7%
    2000: 70.2%
    2007: 98.4%
    2011: 87.0%

    Part of income inequality is being felt right now in the form of middle class debt.

    The bottom half of Americans share essentially 2-3% of the nation's wealth, so we can comfortably ignore them in this debate.

    but the 50-90th percenters control about a third of the nation's wealth, and they are still in the middle of this horrific deleveraging process. We have a long way to go to return to more sustainable debt levels. A lot of the path from 98 to 87% was the simple destruction of bad debt - people walking away from and being kicked out of their homes.

    Obviously the middle class has to take some of the responsibility for the debt levels, but not all. But the point is the wealth picture in the U.S. may look a bit different when this is all over. that 87% number makes it pretty clear to me that we're a long way, at least half a decade, from a healthy, sustainable consumer economy. And we're probably several years away from the real "bottom" of the housing market.

    George Bush's "ownership society" is dead. That misguided Republican dream and policy goal helped lead us into the housing bubble, though George Bush doesn't get all the blame for that either.

    Tightening of lending standards is bound to continue, and that will only magnify the stagnant/declining incomes of the middle class, and the end result 10-15 years from now will be that home ownership rates may actually begin trending down below historical averages. This is balanced somewhat by declining home values that change the affordability picture, but I see the tightening of lending standards as the stagnation of middle class income as being a generational shift, not a temporary phenomenon.
  21. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    star 6
    As part of the ?State of the Union? address last night, President Obama touched on some themes relevant to this thread, particularly re-building the middle class by way of the manufacturing sector, and of the varying tax rates between the middle class and the ultra-rich.

    Clearly, I?m a fan of tweaking the upper tax brackets; but as far as the manufacturing base, given the ridiculously low labor rates overseas (check here for a funny/disturbing look at the subject), is it actually realistic to ?bring it back home?? I?m not talking in terms of right/wrong because, for the most part, corporations don?t speak that language. I?m talking in terms of cost.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Outsourcing manufacturing overseas is not just about labor costs either. It's also about offshoring environmental problems. Although Apple rarely gets bad press, especially now with its record-breaking revenue levels, one of the issues where they do get criticized is the environmental damage done by some of the companies that manufacture and assemble parts for them overseas. If you manufacture in a place with low labor costs and few environmental protections, then you've externalized even more costs that you would otherwise have to eat by manufacturing in the U.S.

    We export jobs to China, but also pollution. But I don't think the answer is dismantling environmental regulation at home.
  23. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    99% of what politicians say will help with jobs, won't. SOPA is said to help keep our jobs here, because it will keep evil foreigners from copying our (can't say floppies without a Slowpoke picture, but you know) intellectual property. But it can't stop foreigners from doing anything, since they're, what, class? *everyone drones "foreigners"* Right! American laws end at America's borders. The inheritance tax has nothing to do with jobs, since you don't actually hire someone.

    But of course not doing what the Republican Tea Party wants is "punishing the job creators".

    [image=http://c.static.memegenerator.net/cache/instances/500x/13/13597/13924076.jpg]
  24. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    As far as bringing manufacturing back home, I think that ship has sailed. As you said, corporations don't speak that language, and we don't want to dismantle environmental protections, minimum wage laws, child labor laws, or the 40-hour work week in order to make factories here as cheap to operate as they are overseas.

    What we do need to consider is learning how to make and produce a product that cannot be as easily outsourced. I don't have anything specific in mind, but I would say it would have to do with either information or intellectual property.

    Another suggestion that Thom Hartmann mentions regularly: raising tariffs and implementing protectionism. A corporation wants to run its production in China so it can pay 10-year-olds $1 an hour? Fine. We charge the hell out of the corporation to bring the product back into the US to sell.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
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    More on income inequality in Republican states. Alabama's anti-immigration policy has proved to be a work of genius. One of the nation's poorest states has decided to drive out as many of the people who work like slaves for nearly subhuman wages as possible. And it's working!!! The state is losing billions in tax revenue as its GDP declines and the effect of losing part of its tax base and spending base ripples throughout the state's already not so great economy.

    Sometimes, if you want something badly enough, if your ideological mission is important enough to you, you should be willing to **** yourself in the *** to get it. That's Alabama, home state of my family for more than 150 years.

    Hopefully, the stupidity of the law will serve as a beacon of what not to do for the rest of the country. We'll see.