Inequality rising in US

watu05

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According to the Congressional Budget office from 1990 to 2019 wealth held by the bottom 50% of the US population decreased from 4% to 2.%. The wealth those in the 50% to 90% range also decreased, while the wealth of the top 10% increased to nearly 70% of US wealth. The top 1% owns 34% of total US wealth. This data is consistent with slightly older data from the Fed.

Wealth inequality undermines faith in democracy and fuels the appeal of authoritarianism and populism which promise results based on their personal power. Our elections are driven increasingly by money resulting in legislators who are responsive to those who can financially support them. Unless we get money out of our electoral system, we will continue down this path.
 

noble cane

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I know. I hate it when penniless politcians get elected to an office in DC and turn it into mansions in Marthas Vinyard and beach front compounds on Oahu....
 
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watu05

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According to the Congressional Budget office from 1990 to 2019 wealth held by the bottom 50% of the US population decreased from 4% to 2.%. The wealth those in the 50% to 90% range also decreased, while the wealth of the top 10% increased to nearly 70% of US wealth. The top 1% owns 34% of total US wealth. This data is consistent with slightly older data from the Fed.

Wealth inequality undermines faith in democracy and fuels the appeal of authoritarianism and populism which promise results based on their personal power. Our elections are driven increasingly by money resulting in legislators who are responsive to those who can financially support them. Unless we get money out of our electoral system, we will continue down this path.
Republicans have promised to force a cut to social security and Medicare if they take control of the House By refusing to increase the debt ceiling. Social security was not designed to be a the sole source of retirement income, but the decades long freeze in real income growth, consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few, and end of old fashioned pensions, it is the only source of income left for many of those who have worked for decades. Half the people at retirement age have less that $90K in measurable retirement savings. The US can’t reduce crime, homelessness, drug use and anti social behaviors without addressing income and wealth inequality. Yet tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to what is left of the social safety net are its principle policies.
 
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lawpoke87

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You know it’s election time and the Dems are struggling when they start screaming about SS cuts. What isn’t fictional is people living on fixed incomes are being devastated by inflation. What is also a fact is if nothing is done with SS the system will only be able to pay out a fraction on the current benefits by 2034. We need to stop kicking the cam down the road and fix SS. It’s pretty simple…you either reduce benefits or increase contributions. There are no other options. Now who will be brave enough to take such bold actions and save SS?

If anyone has another option other than the two I laid out please fire away.
 
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watu05

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Yes, conservative solution is to cut social security as if that were the root problem instead of the result of decades of stagnant wages and unfunded tax cuts (the revenue side) that overwhelmingly benefitted those who purchased the poltical power to create them. Buying Congress has always been a good investment as the concentration of wealth demonstrates.

Just recall the most recent version which was Trump promising 4% growth by borrowing $2T from China to pass on 90% to the top 10% in the US. The result was (even preCovid) no increase in growth, more concentration of wealth, and a boost to inflationary pressures we see now. So the answer now, of course, is to cut expenditures to those who need it the most and ignore the revenue side.

This play has repeated itself since Reagan. Bush senior was outed by his party for the heresy of raising taxes to instead of continuing the fantasy of unfunded tax cuts for those don't need it.
 

lawpoke87

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As I said, the conservative solution is to cut social security as if that were the root problem instead of the result of decades of unfunded tax cuts (the revenue side) that overwhelmingly benefitted those who purchased the poltical power to create them. Buying Congress has always been a good investment as the concentration of wealth demonstrates.

Just recall the most recent version which was Trump promising 4% growth by borrowing $2T from China to pass on 90% to the top 10% in the US. The result was (even preCovid) no increase in growth, more concentration of wealth, and a boost to inflationary pressures we see now. So the answer of course, is cut expenditures to those who need it the most and ignore the revenue side.

This play has repeated itself since Reagan started it, and Bush senior was outed by his party for the heresy of raising taxes to instead of continuing the fantasy of unfunded tax cuts for those don't need it.
Blah blah….will ask again. What is your solution for SS?

SS was turned into a pay as you go system. We might have less overall debt if the revenue side were handled differently but we would be in the exact same spot with SS not being able to meet current obligations in the next 10-12 years. That is a fact my friend.
 

watu05

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Krugman makes an interesting point about US politics. The final paragraph reminds me of TUfan who would believes he has earned his social security but enjoys the bashing those facing economic hardships.

"In America, the positions of the two parties are clear. Democrats are socially and economically liberal, while Republicans are socially and economically conservative.

There are, however, many voters who are economically relatively liberal and socially illiberal — who hate wokeness and fear immigrants but want to maintain and even expand Social Security and Medicare, at least for people they see as “real” Americans. Such voters do have political champions in other countries: France’s National Rally, formerly the National Front, established its identity as an anti-immigrant, Islamophobic party, but it has been attacking President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies from the left, denouncing his plans to raise the retirement age.

In the United States, though, socially illiberal voters who want a strong safety net for themselves have effectively no representation. Former President Donald Trump made a play for such voters in 2016, posing as a different kind of Republican, but once in office he slashed taxes for the rich and tried to kill Obamacare. If Republicans win one or both houses of Congress next month, they’ve already signaled that they will use the debt limit to try to blackmail the Biden administration into cutting Social Security and Medicare.

....we should ask what it is about the United States that prevents the emergence of anyone catering to a large bloc of voters who want the nastiness of MAGA without the right-wing economics."
 

lawpoke87

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Krugman makes an interesting point about US politics. The final paragraph reminds me of TUfan who would believes he has earned his social security but enjoys the bashing those facing economic hardships.

"In America, the positions of the two parties are clear. Democrats are socially and economically liberal, while Republicans are socially and economically conservative.

There are, however, many voters who are economically relatively liberal and socially illiberal — who hate wokeness and fear immigrants but want to maintain and even expand Social Security and Medicare, at least for people they see as “real” Americans. Such voters do have political champions in other countries: France’s National Rally, formerly the National Front, established its identity as an anti-immigrant, Islamophobic party, but it has been attacking President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies from the left, denouncing his plans to raise the retirement age.

In the United States, though, socially illiberal voters who want a strong safety net for themselves have effectively no representation. Former President Donald Trump made a play for such voters in 2016, posing as a different kind of Republican, but once in office he slashed taxes for the rich and tried to kill Obamacare. If Republicans win one or both houses of Congress next month, they’ve already signaled that they will use the debt limit to try to blackmail the Biden administration into cutting Social Security and Medicare.

....we should ask what it is about the United States that prevents the emergence of anyone catering to a large bloc of voters who want the nastiness of MAGA without the right-wing economics."
I will ask again….how will you “fix” SS without either cutting benefits or increasing contributions (taxes). Stop ignoring the question. You do understand if we do nothing then SS will not be able to meet its disbursements …correct ?
 

aTUfan

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Republicans have promised to force a cut to social security and Medicare if they take control of the House By refusing to increase the debt ceiling. Social security was not designed to be a the sole source of retirement income, but the decades long freeze in real income growth, consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few, and end of old fashioned pensions, it is the only source of income left for many of those who have worked for decades. Half the people at retirement age have less that $90K in measurable retirement savings. The US can’t reduce crime, homelessness, drug use and anti social behaviors without addressing income and wealth inequality. Yet tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to what is left of the social safety net are its principle policies.
Privatize SS, you control your money. not congress.
 

watu05

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Republicans have promised to force a cut to social security and Medicare if they take control of the House By refusing to increase the debt ceiling. Social security was not designed to be a the sole source of retirement income, but the decades long freeze in real income growth, consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few, and end of old fashioned pensions, it is the only source of income left for many of those who have worked for decades. Half the people at retirement age have less that $90K in measurable retirement savings. The US can’t reduce crime, homelessness, drug use and anti social behaviors without addressing income and wealth inequality. Yet tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to what is left of the social safety net are its principle policies.
OK’s Senator Lankford is cosponsoring a bill to repeal Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices and set insulin prices at a max 35$ calling it ‘Protecting Drug Innovation’ Insulin has been around for over 50 years and costs zip to make now. Although Republicans are studiously refusing to issue a policy platform to instead focus on social divisions and undermining faith in elections. The few economic proposals issued by Republican candidates are focused on cutting Medicare and Social security and expanding trickle down economics. Other examples: Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has called for making the funding for Social Security and Medicare discretionary, meaning it would have to be voted on annually. So you pay in all you life and hope Congress gives you something back? Sen Scott’s 12 points to Rescue America call for sunsetting all legislation 5 years after passage including Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, Food Stamps, and the like.…plus a tax cut.
 

lawpoke87

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OK’s Senator Lankford is cosponsoring a bill to repeal Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices and set insulin prices at a max 35$ calling it ‘Protecting Drug Innovation’ Insulin has been around for over 50 years and costs zip to make now. Although Republicans are studiously refusing to issue a policy platform to instead focus on social divisions and undermining faith in elections. The few economic proposals issued by Republican candidates are focused on cutting Medicare and Social security and expanding trickle down economics. Other examples: Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has called for making the funding for Social Security and Medicare discretionary, meaning it would have to be voted on annually. So you pay in all you life and hope Congress gives you something back? Sen Scott’s 12 points to Rescue America call for sunsetting all legislation 5 years after passage including Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, Food Stamps, and the like.…plus a tax cut.
Still waiting on you to answer the question as to how you “fix” SS without raising contributions or decreasing benefits? I’m good if you want to simply repeat the position of the Dem party on this question.

Back to the original topic of your thread, there is no greater danger to income inequality than high inflation. Biden is giving a speech tonight from DC. Shall we expect him to address inflation and his plan for the same. His plan to avoid a recession next year? Address the 75 basis rate hike the Fed implemented today? Address what is now the high cost of borrowing for the lower and middle classes? Crime? You know….the real issues facing the american people today.
 

watu05

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Still waiting on you to answer the question as to how you “fix” SS without raising contributions or decreasing benefits? I’m good if you want to simply repeat the position of the Dem party on this question.

Back to the original topic of your thread, there is no greater danger to income inequality than high inflation. Biden is giving a speech tonight from DC. Shall we expect him to address inflation and his plan for the same. His plan to avoid a recession next year? Address the 75 basis rate hike the Fed implemented today? Address what is now the high cost of borrowing for the lower and middle classes? Crime? You know….the real issues facing the american people today.
Lol. Raise the cap on the income that is subject to social security. BTW I only see your posts when the ignore button doesn’t function.

BTW isn’t pulling out Republican talking points to change the subject while offering no solutions what you are doing? Trickle down economic policies are the government equivalent of Jack Welch’s management strategy: cut investment, deunionize, cut all possible costs to reward shareholders in the short run and then watch GE, Boeing, etc. suffer the consequences. The shareholders do great, management does great and wages decline along with the skills and knowledge that made those companies great. The concentration of wealth in the top 1% is increasing, not declining.
 
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lawpoke87

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Unfortunately you could subject all income to SS and it would only cover 60 to 70% of the shortfall. The longer we wait the percentage of the shortfall covered goes down. We are going to need additional actions. Please advise as to those. Your proposal won’t be enough.

Those aren’t talking points btw. They are the issues Americans are most concerned with according to polling. I would expect a President facing midterms to be addressing those issues daily. Maybe tonight
 
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aTUfan

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OK’s Senator Lankford is cosponsoring a bill to repeal Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices and set insulin prices at a max 35$ calling it ‘Protecting Drug Innovation’ Insulin has been around for over 50 years and costs zip to make now. Although Republicans are studiously refusing to issue a policy platform to instead focus on social divisions and undermining faith in elections. The few economic proposals issued by Republican candidates are focused on cutting Medicare and Social security and expanding trickle down economics. Other examples: Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has called for making the funding for Social Security and Medicare discretionary, meaning it would have to be voted on annually. So you pay in all you life and hope Congress gives you something back? Sen Scott’s 12 points to Rescue America call for sunsetting all legislation 5 years after passage including Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare, Food Stamps, and the like.…plus a tax cut.
make it a choice, you either put money in to your own account( ie ira, 401k ) or you give your money to the government and rely on them to take care of you in retirement.

quit making it a slush fund for congressional spending.

quit giving out money to people who have never contributed.
 

Gmoney4WW

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make it a choice, you either put money in to your own account( ie ira, 401k ) or you give your money to the government and rely on them to take care of you in retirement.
You don't have any idea. Doing that would make SS broke even faster for those that have paid their entire lives. Your simple solutions don't work.
 

lawpoke87

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Both parties know witholdings have to be increased AND benefits decreased. Both parties also know old people vote. Thus nothing is done. Just to add, an 8% inflation rate placed more stress on the system as distributions are increased.
 
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Chris Harmon

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Pew Research shows the middle class shrunk from 61% to 50% since 1970, roughly 50 years. 4% of them dropped into the lower class, while 7% moved into the upper class. The average salary for the middle class, according to Pew, is $90k per year.

ft_2022.04.20_middleclass_01.png
 

watu05

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According to the CBO, since 1989 wealth inequality has dramatically increased. See link. People are increasingly willing to jettison a system that they perceive as broken and unfair while the appeal of quick fix autocrats rises commenserately.

 

aTUfan

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Congress doest need to increase taxes on the wealthy. Congress needs to eliminate the loopholes and bogus deductions.
 

Gmoney4WW

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kinda sorta. but i want bidem and the dem to quit complaning about the rich and taxes.
Congress, biden, hrc, kamala haris, ... write the tax code.
And all the republicans, you always leave them out. Equal guilt.
 

watu05

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Both parties have failed to identify the immorality of a system that measures itself solely by GDP without consideration of equity and fairness to all participants. The record accumulation of wealth by the top 1% coupled with uncontrolled, political spending means nothing is likely to change. Obama was elected by calling out that inequity, but the financial crisis and his choices for Sec Treasury tubed any correction. Trump was the next to use that dissatisfaction to get elected.

The sad element is the working class that has shifted to Maga-ism is placing their hopes in populist demagogues’ promises and ignoring the reality of their policies. A part from changing SCOTUS and borrowing 2T from China, the last administration delivered little beyond an endless list of grievances. No increase in growth, no health care plan was even put forward, no infrastructure bill, no drug price relief, or even material tax relief for the bottom 80%. Cutting Medicare, privatizing or limiting Social Security and amping social grievances are not going to address the basic issues. To be fair, apart from Obama’s early efforts, the Dems haven’t called out these core inequities and have instead tried to ameliorate the damage without openly identifying the fundamental problem.
 
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