Comments about ‘Skyrocketing income inequality in America over the past 30 years’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21 2012 6:30 a.m. MST

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worf
Mcallen, TX

Survival of the stongest is the common, in the animal world.

If a lion grows old, get injured, or raised by humans,--it starves to death, in the real world.

In our country, it's the survival of the weakest that's destroying our society.

Liberal ideas promotes weakness, and dependence.

killpack
Sandy, UT

Stalwart Sentinel,

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say. Are you making note of the ironic fact that NBC, whose parent company is non-income tax paying General Electric, is and has been for decades a propaganda mill for left wing, liberal, authoritarian, tax and spend politicians in our centralized federal government in Washington DC? Or were you referring to state media outlets PBS and NPR, who themselves have made a decent fortune off of advancing socialism on behalf of their benefactors? If you were, then noted.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "UtahBlueDevil" if GE using tax loopholes to get out of paying corporate income tax means that they receive corporate welfare, doesn't that mean that the 50% of the US that pays no income taxes because of tax loopholes also recieve welfare?

Wouldn't you consider a nation where 50% of the population receive welfare to be headed in the wrong direction? Shouldn't we be working towards minimizing the amount of welfare given out?

NYJazzFan
East Elmhurst, NY

@Mountainman - you should inform yourself before you go on your rants - Corporate Welfare in any form is bad news, so in principle we might agree. Unfortunately our government is controlled by wealthy aristocrats, in both parties. I believe Obama gave tax cuts to the green builders yes, but the process of stirring and investing in innovation is nothing new. As a matter of fact the 5 big oil companies recieve US subsidies - corporate welfare - that reduces what they owe to zero and in fact get money back fom the govt. They receive those breaks to, uhm, stir innovation but of course they just pocket it. The corporate tax rate was even higher in the past and some great companies paid it because they know that nowhere in the world will the find innovators and dedicated employees like in the good ole USA! If they dont have the wherewithal and patriotism to stay here and invest further into our country than they can leave. @killpack - there are 6 institutions that own 85% of the media outlets in the country. Uhm im pretty sure poor lefties dont own them.

killpack
Sandy, UT

UtahBlueDevil,

General Electric is a perfect example of why we should NOT pay more taxes. If I'm rich, poor, middle class, I don't want to send another single dime to the inept and immoral den of thieves in Washington DC so they can pay off special interests keeping them in power. General Electric is just one of many. AIG, GM, Solyndra, etc., etc. The list is endless. If I could get away with it, I would hide every cent I made in the Cayman Islands. How many of the poor and hungry in this world go without because the wealthy are forced to send their money to Washington DC to fund graft and corruption when the money could have been used for food, clothing and shelter. No wonder there is inequality in this world.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Worf - Precisely right. Which explains why California, NY, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, etc... are all such weak economies while Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, etc... are economic powerhouses. Er, wait.... Your analogy does help explain why nearly every single conservative state in the Union receives more in federal tax dollars than it pays in while nearly every single liberal state in the Union pays more in federal taxes than it receives back. Conservative state politics create a weak and dependent society. Please, look it up.

killpack - No, I'm pointing out the ironic fact that people think media organizations, often owned by corporations, that have made decent fortunes advance socialism.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

To all those who think that regulations and laws are the reason for income inequality let me ask you a question. Would the standard of living go up if labor laws like, ot after forty hour work weeks and minimum wage laws were repealed? What if unions were outlawed? Would this nation be better off or would we be more like china?

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We are (or were until this election) a land of opportunity, where those who studied hard, worked hard and played by the rules really could get rich. Richer than those who did not bother studying hard, did not work hard, or only loaf around waiting for the next Santa Claus gift from the liberals to their reliable dependency class voters.

Thus the disparity of results clearly comes from a disparity of effort.

I am not one of the "evil rich" but I object to those who think that by stealing from those who work hard they will somehow enrich everyone else.

The Pilgrims tired it that way, and nearly starved, until they abandoned the communal socialist experiment and instituted private property and keeping the fruits of one's labors.

How about the NBA players making millions while the rest of the people in the basketball industry only make peanuts? Let's take away from those rich guys! Or the trial lawyers who make more than their secretaries? Or union bosses who make more than their members?

worf
Mcallen, TX

UtahBlueDevil,

I can't say it any better then frugalfly. In this country, we are free to succeed.

donquixote84721
Cedar City, UT

One of the major problems in America today in Entitlements, and it affects both ends of the class system. Many in the Upper Class believe that they are entitled to all they can get regardless of who it hurts or kills. For example, the banking CEO's that received millions in "bank bail-out" funds, after helping to cause the banking crisis, just because they donated to some politicians campaign. Many in the Lower Class have been taught that they are entitled to everything for nothing. There are more special programs, for low income people everyday, i.e., the new cell phone programs, that enable the Lower Class to have cell phones.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

"At the same time, over the past 12 years tax rated for the richest 400 Americans have effectively been cut in half, according to data from the IRS. In 2007, the last year for which the IRS has released data, the richest 400 Americans paid a tax rate of 16.63 percent."

=================

Hmmm. I wonder why an article about differences in income ends by talking about tax rates? Particularly when the quoted tax rate for the richest 400 Americans of a mere 16.63% is obviously NOT related to the type of income of people in the lower income ranges. This is obvious partly because we all know that our income tax rates are "progressive", meaning that people pay a higher percentage tax as their regular earned income goes up. So much so that the people earning the top 10% pay more than 50% of the income tax in the country.

So, clearly, the 16.63% figure, must mean that it is mostly from -investment- income, making the use of it here more than a little misleading and disingenuous. Or, put more bluntly, it is used dishonestly.

frugalfly
PULLMAN, WA

The reason that blue states are so economically advanced has less to do with the fact that they are "blue" and more based upon history and geography. The reason many of them are "blue" is that they have massive takers of unemployment and welfare. There are so many low income individuals that are on the government dole that they skew the voting. An interesting experiment would be if you took away all the urban welfare out of states like New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, I think many of those states would be far more red than you think. My theory is that wealth of the blue states is highly "red created". There are the blue elites and then the blue bottom 1/3 as well as blue 1/5 based upon social issues but these people are fiscally "red". Blue is explained by race as well not because of economic philosophy. Blue is explained many times by social issues not economic issues. The blue's shouldn't take too much "fiscal credit" for the state of their economically powerful states. Probably a lot of red energy and red fiscal contribution moving those blue states.

liberate
Sandy, UT

It seems many posting here don't realize significant wealth disparity is bad for all, not only those at the bottom. If you don't understand, study basic antitrust law for a few minutes. It's actually fairly simple to explain why significant wealth gaps are not good for society. But there will always be those who argue based on the extremes and don't realize they are making points that nobody disagrees with (e.g., we should be rewarded for our hard work! -- fyi - nobody disagrees with you and nobody is saying it shouldn't be this way...).

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...Skyrocketing income inequality in America over the past 30 years...".

This is news?

The purpose of reagan republican trickle down economics has nearly been achieved.

The current bumper crop of reagan wannabees are falling all over themselves helping the job creators NOT create jobs faster than ever.

Dutch would be proud.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@frugalfly - you propose that the top wealth in Blue states is held by Red people. And yet in this last election, 8 of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the nation voted blue. he data just doesn't support that proposition. If you look in your own state of washington, it is the deeply affluent areas that voted Blue the heaviest, where as eastern side of the state that voted in higher rates conservative. Point is there is just a lot more issues at play than just rich versus poor... and the Republicans need to figure that out.

@Worf - perhaps you believe that this country is about survival of the fittest... and maybe that really is the direction we are headed. But in my opinion and faith, it is to become higher than the carnal man that is our commandment. I pray we are not devolving into a dog eat dog world.... but perhaps.... you are right.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

As much as I like your views it is kind of funny to see all the normally conservative commentators commenting and justifying income disparity.

I agree with what you are saying that someone who because of their hard work earns more than someone else, but look at it this way. Obamacare is forcing employers to cut some employees from full-time to part-time. I would propose that a lot of those people needed those hours that are being cut. Are you OK with that?

I Choose Freedom
Atlanta, GA

My brother and I were born in a home with no plumbing or electricity. Our family was dirt poor. Used an outhouse. No phone in the home until I was 20 and long gone. My older brother and I had equal opportunity. I chose to work hard and graduate high school. He quit in 9th grade. I joined the LDS church and served a 2 year mission. He never set foot in church and spent his time drinking, smoking and partying. I chose to go to college. He chose to wander from one job to another, just getting by. I worked very hard, set goals and moved up in my career. He never made much more than minimum wage. I invested my money, never buying needless things. He spent every available dollar on lottery tickets. Today I am 54, debt free, own my own business, have a very comfortable life and looking forward to retirement. My brother lives with one of his kids in a trailer, bumming money from them for smokes. Can't work because of lung cancer. Can't take care of himself.

Choices have consequences. My brothers poor choices were his choices. HE CHOSE THE LIFE HE LIVES.

statman
Lehi, UT

Why in the world is this supposed to be a bad thing?

Basic economics tells us that people are paid based on their productivity. In the past 30 years, the productivity of the least productive workers in our society - unskilled labor - has certainly gone up a bit. The work of personnel in retail, unskilled manufacturing, fast food, etc has gotten more productive as computer-controlled systems were co-mingled with their traditionally low-tech jobs.

But the productivity of our nations highest 20% of productive workers has skyrocketed with the advent of personal computing. Desk-top computing has made members of this group be able to do the work of multiple workers that had the same job description 30 years earlier, whether they are financial analysts, physicians, pharmacists or physicists.

If you increase productivity of the least productive segment of society by say 50% over 30 years, but increase it by 300% in the top segment, how could you not expect an increase in income inequality?

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@statman - it is an interesting theory, and at some level seems to make sense. But do you really think executives have become 300 percent more productive? And do you really think their compensation is tied to economic value generated? For example, locally our garbage people have gone from 2 people on a truck to a single person, with an automated arm that dumps the cans. The process is probably 25 to 40 percent faster. The productivity of the truck has gone up several fold because you have reduced the human cost, and increased the number of residences served per hour. Do you think the remaining driver of the trucks wage has increased in any relationship to the increased productivity? I doubt it. But maybe.

If you try building models around this "survival of the fittest" mentality as one proposed, it becomes difficult because using education as a constraint, you end up an inordinate number of outliers. There are far more factors that predict future wealth. Anyway.... first person to truly figure this out will surely do very well financially.

DVD
Taylorsville, 00

I'm not worried that someone will make a ton more money than I, my concern is when it comes from using that extreme financial power to keep the masses from having a general choice to make a decent living wage. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair shows an example of what can happen with unregulated corporate behavior. Freedom disappears, anything that matters beyond the next meal disappears for most of the working classes.

In the last 20 years, we've had a shift away from 'socialism' policies in the U.S. It seems we have also increased permanent poverty. Humans are always going to create inequality, the trick is to not let it get so far that your whole system turns into masses starving vs. a few ultra-rich. That's a recipe for revolution and not progress for freedom.

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