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  1. #11
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Disparity of wealth demonstrably contributes to discontent, to a degree, but the motivation for that discontent is not well-considered. Wealth distribution often follows a power law, which means that within a given society, disparity in wealth is lower when the economy is bad, and higher when the economy is good. (Because the disparity is measured linearly, but the wealth is distributed exponentially.)

    Quantitatively, "the rich" were hit hardest by the current recession in the US, making the disparity much less than it was in 2007 and prior. Qualitatively, the poor are hit hardest, because when an economy goes bad, the poor are the ones who lose the jobs, the wealthy merely lose assets.

    Envy in good times makes it rather difficult to convince people that the disparity is a non-problem. One finds it easy to forget that if the wealthy lose 20% of their assets, the result will be about 10-20% unemployment (depending on how one measures it), mostly among the poor. That marginal extra wealth, so lamented as going only to the rich, is proportional to how quickly the economy grows.
    yesterday I was chatting with my infp sidekick about when we would steal (he likes to steal things other people place a great deal of value in, then flaunt he stole them, but only to family and freinds...then he stole my soda when I wasnt looking ). I said I would steal from the rich and give to the poor, robin hood style... alas to the trashbin with pragmatic logistics and practical reason, as well as math and silly economics!!!

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    yesterday I was chatting with my infp sidekick about when we would steal (he likes to steal things other people place a great deal of value in, then flaunt he stole them, but only to family and freinds...then he stole my soda when I wasnt looking ). I said I would steal from the rich and give to the poor, robin hood style... alas to the trashbin with pragmatic logistics and practical reason, as well as math and silly economics!!!
    Robin Hood's thefts where liable to have involved killing wild beasts for subsistance, the poor where liable to be himself and his cohorts, granted its been romanticised and embellished a bit.

  3. #13
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Bad.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

    My blog:
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    Wordpress: http://introvertadventures.wordpress.com/

  4. #14
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    It's okay, it will trickle down

  5. #15
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    It's bad. The greater the disparity, the closer we are to feudalism.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #16
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It's bad. The greater the disparity, the closer we are to feudalism.
    I suspect that modern metrics would measure a much lower disparity for fuedal lords and their serfs than between our own rich and poor. Never mind that our poor are immeasurably better off than ancient feudal lords.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  7. #17
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It's bad. The greater the disparity, the closer we are to feudalism.
    Agreed. While I'm far from anti-corporation or anti-capitalism, the current situation is frightening.

    Consider:
    There's an entire generation of relatively well educated young people who can't find jobs or suitable jobs, with substantial debt from student loans. The reason for this glut, I lay at the doorstep of global conglomerates who've not only outsourced manufacturing jobs but also have outsourced white collar jobs.

    To add insult to injury, global conglomerates have failed to pay domestic labour relatively fair wages since they're aware they can get labour cheaper elsewhere. So now, the top 1% have sucked up more of even the shareholders profits, nevermind the employees profit.

    Also, the global conglomerates have become too big to fail so they're buffered by governments in multiple jurisdictions who are afraid to bring the hammer down on them, since their countries rely on jobs and income provided by these conglomerates.

    And finally, these global conglomerates span so many jurisdictions, no one government can bring the hammer down on them or even create legislation to corral them.

  8. #18
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html

    TED talk in a nutshell: based on metadata, disparity harms society, including measures of trust, health, etc.
    Damn, I was going to link this- it was shown to my social welfare policy and economics class recently.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The West is based on two values - freedom and equality.

    And in a liberal democratic society, freedom limits equality, and equality limits freedom.

    In a bourgeois society freedom dominates; and in a proletarian society equality dominates.

    A liberal democratic society limits power by limiting both freedom and equality. And the genius of liberal democracy is that freedom and equality limit each other and form a virtuous circle.
    +3

    This is the truest thing I've ever seen you write, Victor.

    It's John Rawls (equality) vs Robert Nozick (freedom).

    I arrived at this same conclusion in college.

  10. #20
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Wealth disparity isn't good, but it isn't necessarily bad either. It just is.
    You lose.

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