Is income inequality good for you?


Well, according to this,

…… countries that have higher inequality between those groups tend to have higher living standards for the middle class and the poor. I would not assert strongly that that is a causal relationship. But it is not what you would expect to find if inequality was bad for growth.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

23 thoughts on “Is income inequality good for you?

  1. Swarn Gill says:

    I thought this article was fairly well balanced. I am not one who believes income inequality is all bad, but I still think that when you have a nation with hunger and homeless people and you have billionaires, that there is something morally askew about your country.

    I would say that I am middle class, but it seems compared to our parents time, the ability to save money is far less than it was for them. Now it’s quite possible that I’m not as financially savvy as my parents, but I don’t think inflation has kept pace with wages. There are also a lot of big things like real estate and college tuition which has rose at levels that far outpace wage increases. Although I have received small wage increases the past 10 years, I am also paying far more of my health care costs and thus the increase has been eaten by this cost, and so my wages have been fairly flat over this time while inflation continues. I’m still quite fine obviously, but I think what I’m experiencing is also what the Pew Research Center found as well. Middle Class size may still be the same, but our ability to gain financially is less. Whether this is because of economic inequality or not is perhaps unproven, but I think it recognizes that there is a problem that the author of your article also acknowledges. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/06/the-american-middle-class-is-stable-in-size-but-losing-ground-financially-to-upper-income-families/

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Talking about home, I think we have an income inequality arising from among other things, theft of public resources and other such sleaze. We have a situation where the poor are really poor and the rich are really rich and while this two groups don’t live side by side, the poor work in the homes of the rich & so on. So you got a problem. I think the last Forbes magazine report indicated Kenya was among the countries with growing base of millionaires. One wonders what these guys do.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mordanicus says:

    The real issue is or should be poverty (an absolute) – i.e. people being unable to met their basic needs (food, shelter and stuff like that). In a world without poverty, i.e. everyone is able to met his or her basic needs, inequality (a relative) should not really matter – provided that people earn their wealth in manner that benefits society at large.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good grief! Oh, how conservatives love to cleverly spin the economic unfairness they cherish! Let’s correct the record before this nonsense gains traction.

    The Fallacy: The concentration of wealth at the very top of society benefits poor people because money and opportunity “trickles down” the socioeconomic ladder.

    The Rebuttal: Don’t expect me to believe it’s raining when you urinate on my head.

    The Facts: During the robust post-WWII economic boom from 1946 to the early 1970s which saw the greatest expansion of middle class prosperity in human history, tax rates on corporations and the wealthy were at their highest at the same time that income inequality was at its lowest. Furthermore, western democratic governments reached the peak of their effectiveness and power.

    Beginning in the 1980s during the Reagan-Thatcher era, conservatives aligned with neoliberals to destroy labor unions and consumer advocacy, deregulate large industries while demonizing “big government,” eviscerate existing progressive taxation systems with massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, diminish the social safety net (i.e. “austerity”), and negotiate so-called “free trade” agreements which were little more than legal mechanisms to allow transnational corporations to supersede the laws of sovereign nations.

    Since 1980, worker wages have stagnated and income inequality has skyrocketed. Homelessness has become a huge problem. Healthcare is in crisis, and life expectancy is declining in the U.S. People who think this is all just coincidence are fools. It’s long past the time to wake up.

    Liked by 3 people

    • $A-fuckin’-men$, brother!

      Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Well said Bob.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mordanicus says:

      The main problem with “trickle down” is that the wealthy do not consume or invest in increased production but tend to use their wealth to speculate. This creates harmful asset bubbles, which transfer more and more wealth from the poor to the rich.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ron says:

      This is incorrect. The early postwar economy was driven by a pent-up demand for housing and consumer goods — not taxation. Plus, few (if any) paid the top marginal tax rates.

      The U.S. Government’s FY2018 budget deficit was $780 billion and the FY2019 budget deficit is projected to be around $1100 billion. Even if we could magically confiscate and convert the entire $3.1 trillion combined wealth of America’s 607 billionaires into cash at present market value, it would only be enough to balance the current budget and pay off $2 trillion of the accumulated $22 trillion debt.

      Thereafter, there would be no more rich billionaires left to tax and the government would once again be faced with the same four choices:

      1. balance the budget
      2. run up the deficit
      3. confiscate the wealth of the next tier of “rich” people, or
      4. some combination of options 2 and 3 above.

      And as history has demonstrated, the only places with zero wealth inequality are the places where everyone is equally poor. .
      .
      “Tax the rich” is the mantra of economically-illiterate “democratic socialist” nitwits like AOC.

      Like

      • No matter how much perfume you spray, it’s still bullshit. Income inequality and social stratification increased dramatically since 1980, and that is a historical fact.

        Nobody needs to be a billionaire.

        “Screw the poor” is the mantra of morally bereft fascist assholes like Donald Trump.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ron says:

          lol. The word ‘fascist’ gets hurled around with such reckless abandon it’s lost all meaning.

          And ‘morally bereft assholes’ best describes those who want to steal the fruits of my labour and hand them out to people who didn’t earn them.

          Like

          • If the shoe fits, wear it. Embrace your ideology. Nobody respects a coward.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Ron says:

              Indeed! I’ve embraced individualism and following the Golden Rule. How about you?

              Like

              • I fully embrace the Golden Rule; and, here’s a current news story which speaks to that – from: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/capitalism-in-crisis-us-billionaires-worry-about-the-survival-of-the-system-that-made-them-rich/ar-BBW8vjs

                For decades, Democrats and Republicans have hailed America’s business elite, especially in Silicon Valley, as the country’s salvation. The government might be gridlocked, the electorate angry and divided, but America’s innovators seemed to promise a relatively pain-free way out of the mess. Their companies produced an endless series of products that kept the U.S. economy churning and its gross domestic product climbing. Their philanthropic efforts were aimed at fixing some of the country’s most vexing problems. Government’s role was to stay out of the way.
                Now that consensus is shattering. For the first time in decades, capitalism’s future is a subject of debate among presidential hopefuls and a source of growing angst for America’s business elite. In places such as Silicon Valley, the slopes of Davos, Switzerland, and the halls of Harvard Business School, there is a sense that the kind of capitalism that once made America an economic envy is responsible for the growing inequality and anger that is tearing the country apart.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. Cal Knight says:

    Regardless of who it benefits, the direction we are headed in is historically unsustainable.

    https://writeleft.home.blog/2019/07/29/if-this-trend-continues-people-are-going-to-revolt/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Motivating people with money is not a completely stupid idea. But it is way way overdone in America. The Game is rigged. And by design. https://petersironwood.com/2019/09/10/essays-on-america-the-game/

    Like

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