Inequality

Greedy Capitalists Hogging Wealth Are Not Causing Income Inequality

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For all those interested in finding out the other half of the income inequality story that last week's CBO study does not tell, here is some fascinating stuff from Political Calculation, a wonkish blog.

It produces three charts, displaying the Gini Coefficients of individuals, families and households in America from 1994 and 2010 that show that we can safely dial down the CBO-triggered gloom-and-doom that the capitalist system is generating vast disparities of wealth. (This data is superior to the CBO's in at least one major respect: It is more current because it goes up to 2010. The CBO's ends in 2007 which means that it does not take into account the post-recessionary losses that the much-reviled top 1 percent experienced.)

The charts show that although there is a slight increase in income inequality for U.S. families and households, there is absolutely no significant change in the inequality among U.S. individual income earners from 1994 through 2010. (A Gini Coefficient of 0 indicates perfect equality—everyone has the same income—and a value of 1 indicates perfect inequality—one person has all the income, while everyone else has none.)

The CBO study's finding—being shouted from roof tops by the left—that the top 1 percent of Americans have pulled ahead from everyone else was based entirely on household income. But the better metric to indict capitalism would be rising individual income inequality. Why? Explains the blog: "If income inequality in the U.S. was really driven by economic factors, this is where we would see it, because paychecks (or dividend checks, or checks for capital gains, etc.) are made out to individuals, not to families and not to households."

So the real complaint of the left isn't about rising income inequality produced by markets, but rather, income inequality produced by how people choose to group together into families and households.

Says Political Calculation:

With a near rock-steady level of income inequality among individual income earners over time, it is only possible for income inequality to rise among families and households if the most successful income earners group themselves into families and households and if the least successful income earners likewise group themselves together into families and households as well.

Think about it. The reason that the income inequality levels recorded for families and households are lower than those for individuals are because most families and households may have one high income earner, who is balanced out by individuals within the families or households who have low or no incomes.

But, if people with very high income earning potential join together to form families and households, and increasingly do so over time, perhaps because such people might have things in common that make forming themselves into families and households an attractive proposition, then income inequality among families and households will increase.

The same holds true for the opposite end of the income-earning spectrum. If people with really low income earning potential join together to form families and households, or perhaps if they choose to split apart, and increasingly do so over time, then the resulting low income family and household will also make income inequality among families and households rise, even though there has been no real change in the amount of actual income inequality among individuals.

In other words, if rising inequality is limited to households and families and does not extend to individuals then the causes might have less to do with greedy capitalists in the American economy and more to do with other factors in the American society. These include: diminished social contact between the rich and the poor; rising divorce rates and the breakdown of families; fewer income earners in a household because of a lack of education, death or incarceration and so on.

If the left seriously wants to address inequality, these are the issues it'll have to focus on rather than fleecing poor rich people.

H/T: Adrian Moore.

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  1. This article could’ve been so much more concise: Income inequality has always existed and will always exist, and attempting to “fix” it will only skew the income distribution to one favored group over another.

    The question the article really should’ve addressed is “Why do people perceive income inequality as a bad thing?”

    1. “Why do people perceive income inequality as a bad thing?”

      Because Mom gave you the bigger part of the cookie!!!

    2. Too much Star Trek?

      1. Yeah, that Marxist horseshit sucked balls in so many ways (think TNG).

        1. nah, marxism envisioned no central govt unlike the federation.

    3. People generally have an innate sense of fairness, but it is always tempered by their own self-regard. They think, in every case, that fair is the same as beneficial to them. And they make a fundamental error in assuming that life is supposed to be fair, something not founded on empirical evidence.

      1. Re: Sugarfree,

        People generally have an innate sense of fairness[…]

        Yes, it’s called envy.

        1. http://thelastpsychiatrist.com…..ology.html

          > Shame over guilt; rage over anger; masturbation over sex; envy over greed; your future over your past but her past over her future…

        2. From this post:

          Shame over guilt; rage over anger; masturbation over sex; envy over greed; your future over your past but her past over her future…

        3. No, no. I’m talking about the ability to discern that you are being treated differently than others, which is really just observation and a little logic.

          Envy is the corruption of fairness into a weapon you wield on yourself, but blame the wounds on someone else.

          1. Re: SugarFree,

            No, no. I’m talking about the ability to discern that you are being treated differently than others, which is really just observation and a little logic.

            No, that’s just normal paranoia.

          2. Envy is the corruption of fairness into a weapon you wield on yourself, but blame the wounds on someone else.

            I am so stealing this.

              1. A species of “Hatred is swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

                (Happy All Saints Day.)

            1. I’m going to try to forget I ever read it. Must have come from Cosmo Mag.

          3. Envy is the corruption of fairness into a weapon you wield on yourself, but blame the wounds on someone else.

            There is a financial & psychological term for this Saccharin Man, called “representation bias.”

            Basically it means that one’s perception of what situation is and the assumption that others’ situations, within the same or similar demographic, are within the same parameters. It’s when the illusion of this assumption is rendered false that envy kicks in, which can ultimately be reduced to irrational fear. Envy is born of fear, like, as I stated on a another thread, the fear of not “measuring up” socially or physically, not being able to keep up with the Joneses, or not being able to access a particular peer or professional group due to a perceived unfortunate roll of life’s dice. Envy is a response to that fear and often manifests as an irrational sense of inferiority.

        4. From this post:

          Shame over guilt; rage over anger; masturbation over sex; envy over greed; your future over your past but her past over her future…

        5. As stated in this post on narcissism:

          If it’s not grandiosity, then what is narcissism?
          Shame over guilt; rage over anger; masturbation over sex; envy over greed; your future over your past but her past over her future…

        6. As stated in this post on narcissism:

          If it’s not grandiosity, then what is narcissism?
          Shame over guilt; rage over anger; masturbation over sex; envy over greed; your future over your past but her past over her future…

    4. This comment could’ve been so much more concise: “I missed the point of the article, and I wish it had been about something else.”

    5. Conservatives are the ones whining about a deficit and debt problem and their solution is to rob social Security which is fully paid for with payroll taxes instead of raising taxes or cutting defense spending. The only reason income inequality is pointed out is to highlight the ridiculousness of that solution.

    6. Er no…what that CBO report pointed out was that inequality has become much more pronounced over the last 30 years. As it happens in strictly economic terms it is a bad thing quite aside from any social or moral considerations.

  2. If the left seriously wants to address inequality

    If by ‘address’ you mean ‘exploit for political gain’

    1. Income inequality is to left/liberals what sin is to Christians.

      1. even to teh wealthy [LUB-RAHLZ] ?

        1. Oddly enough the people most typically concerned about income inequality are middle to upper class liberals. Poor people (liberal or conservative) have better things to do with their time than worry about this.

          1. so teh [POORZ] dont care about their income inequality?

          2. Helmut Schoeck claims that this is due to envy avoidance: a form of behaviour intended to minimize the envy of others.

      2. They seem to accept all sorts of income inequality as correct and proper. As long as the right people are more equal, then everything is fine.

        1. Income inequality is a fact of life. Life is not fair and nothing is free. The question is, in a time of “crisis”, wholly defined by conservatives, should the burden be put on the working class, who have paid for their benefits, or the elite, who have not.

          1. List, please, of the benefits the working class has fully paid for and those the rich have not. Recalling that 49% of the population (which would be mostly working class and mostly none of the “elite”) is not paying federal income tax.

  3. Could also attribute it in part to the continued rise of the upper middle class, 2 income families. In past generations, these would be 1 income homes, as the one income was more than enough to support the family, and the mother would stay at home.

    Of course, part of the reason Mom goes back to work is their mortgage was based on having the combined 150k income.

    1. Wait.. you mean … families that work more earn more money!? SAY IT AIN’T SO!

      1. The real kicker is the stay at home parent thing is hardly the norm. For most of human history women worked outside the home, either with their children or entrusting them to neighbors/relatives to care for while they worked.

    2. Also it an issue of women professionals. Once lawyers married their secretary or MD’s married nurses – now lawyers marry lawyers and doctors marry doctors. The nurses and “office assistants” have to settle for copier repairmen and cops.

    3. This is false. There are MORE single income families than there were before, because of the divorce rate, the fact that people marry less, and when they do marry, they wait longer.

      Plus, it used to be that when grandma got old she moved into the house with her kids. Today, more old people (who tend to have lower incomes) live on their own.

      1. This is false. There are MORE single income families than there were before, because of the divorce rate

        It is true. The percent of married couples with two incomes is higher.

        Divorces change the denominator. Im not talking about the entire universe, just married couples. And, even more specifically, married couples with kids.

        1. Yeah, but if you only look at married households, the median income will go up as well.

          1. ???

            Seriously, not sure what you are saying.

            There are many factors causing household gini coefficient to rise, while individual is flat:

            Divorce.
            Married women working after kids.
            etc etc.

            I was pointing out one factor that the article didnt.

  4. The charts show that although there is a slight increase in income inequality for U.S. families and households, there is absolutely no significant change in the inequality among U.S. individual income earners from 1994 through 2010.

    Leftist boob:
    B… but… but still, there’s inequality! INEQUALITY!!

    I want everybody to be poor!

  5. It still isn’t fair.

    1. Everybody dies. That’s unfair, too.

      Someone needs to talk to the universe about this situation.

      1. But some people live longer than others. END LIFESPAN INEQUALITY!

        1. Logan’s Run?

          1. In the book, the revolt that resulted in things like Carousel was of young kids (under 21, I think).

      2. Actually everybody dying is fair, we all get the same thing.

      3. “Everybody dies.”

        We’ll see about that. I haven’t died yet.

      4. When you find the universe’s e-mail or telephone number, let me know. I have some issues for him/her/it also……

  6. The Reagan Revolution failed do to ever decreasing GDP growth since 1981. The bias in political decision making is bearing the fruits of economic deprivation and weakening national security. A simple answer is located her http://wh.gov/bTv econmicgps.com

  7. It’s liberating.

  8. I farted in a coffe can once. It wasn’t very exiting.

    1. You have to cut a hole in it so that you can actually hear the echo of your far, otherwise the gas just pressurizes the can and forces your butt off letting out barely a squeaker.

  9. I just laugh at the Left’s nonsense belief that raising taxes on the rich will improve the lot of the poor.

    1. It may not help the poor but we get really cool lasers out of it. Who doesn’t benefit from cool lasers?

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sci…..space.html

      1. Who doesn’t benefit from cool lasers?

        The people being targeted by them.

        1. It benefits them when Our Side does it.

      2. “Contrary to popular belief, a vacuum is not devoid of material but in fact fizzles with tiny mysterious particles that pop in and out of existence, but at speeds so fast that no one has been able to prove they exist. “

        This pisses me off. Write something as a true statement then say it hasn’t been proven. Should be, “Our best supported theories imply vacuum is not devoid of material but in fact fizzles with tiny mysterious particles that pop in and out of existence. This experiment would lend support to such a model if particles were found to exist.”

        1. I just knew ?ther would make a come back someday!

        2. I just knew ?ther would make a come back someday!

  10. Obviously the rich don’t pay enough taxes.
    How do we know this? They’re rich! That’s how!

    We will know they pay their fair share when they aren’t rich anymore.

    There is no need to produce wealth when you can confiscate it from others.

    And don’t worry that the producers will stop producing. It’s hardwired into their DNA.

    They must produce, or socialist redistribution is a race to the bottom where everyone is poor and nobody dares to produce wealth because if they do it will be taken away.
    But on the upside everyone is equal.

    1. “They must produce, or socialist redistribution is a race to the bottom where everyone is poor and nobody dares to produce wealth because if they do it will be taken away.
      But on the upside everyone is equal.”

      Isn’t this a description of the economy of Haiti?

      1. Or Cuba, or most of Africa.

    2. I’ll pay the rich to carry their shitpot. yup herr dippy derr I ams

  11. I’ve got the argument of the article but is seems equally true to say “individual income inequality is greater than household and family income inequality”. Over .5 is a pretty damn high Gini coefficient.

    …fleecing poor rich people…

    The end confuses me as well. Paying the lowest tax rates since the war – admittedly under the horrible threat of returning to the confiscatory tax rates of the 1990s – is being fleeced? Is there a rate that will reduce shrill whining about taxes to a minimum because I would support that rate.

    1. Re: Apostate Jew,

      The end confuses me as well. Paying the lowest tax rates since the war – admittedly under the horrible threat of returning to the confiscatory tax rates of the 1990s – is being fleeced?

      ANY rate above zero is fleecing, AJ. It is NOT the government’s money.

      1. All is fleecing? So much for establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defence and securing the blessings of Liberty but if all four of those have to go to silence your puling, I will support your efforts to reduce the intolerable burden of federal taxes to nothing.

        1. Re: Apostate Jew,

          All is fleecing? So much for establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defence and securing the blessings of Liberty[…]

          Do you really need a band of marauding thieves you call (with a very sick sense of humor) “tax collectors” to roam the land extorting wealth from people to assure “the common defense, establish Justice and secure the blessings of Liberty”?

        2. How can government establish Justice when taxation, that is members of government committing theft and coercion which is a criminal act if done by a citizen, is a violation of Justice?

          Of course it makes sense that those with the monopoly on force would use that monopoly as a means to fund themselves, but it also sets up a contradiction where the very foundation of government violates that which it is duty bound to protect.

          Government needs a new funding model.

          1. More anarchists around here than I thought.

            (Standard disclaimers apply.)

            1. Please resolve for me the contradiction where government is the great protector of property rights and the chief violator of property rights.

              Accusing me of being an anarchist does not count.

              1. ask white indian

              2. I resolve it like this: If government activity reduces the total amount of theft (including said government activity), then society is freer overall, and the government activity is justified.

                INOW, the state is a thief, but not the only one, and I want to live in a society with the smallest amount of theft. Thus I’m a minarchist.

            2. Most of us aren’t anarchists.

              Here’s a hint: Taxes can be voluntary!

        3. And yet we had those things prior to 1913. Huh.

          1. Prior to the income tax something like 75% of all federal revenue came from taxing alcohol.
            The 16th Amendment was championed by the Temperance Movement because it meant they could ban alcohol without hurting federal revenues.

          2. And collecting the funds required to pay for those things still required the threat of force before the income tax. The federal income tax sucks for many reasons, but it was hardly the beginning of coercive taxation.

            Here is a somewhat related question for you, robc. You often declare yourself to be a non-anarchist and a non-utilitarian. How does a non-utilitarian justify any taxation, or even the existence of government at all? It seems to me that libertarian principles lead to anarchy if taken to the logical end and that the only justification for government is that it is either inevitable or that things are better with a government than without. It seems to me that that must be a utilitarian calculation.

            1. How does a non-utilitarian justify any taxation, or even the existence of government at all?

              I acknowledge the contradiction. However, unlike Rand or Aristotle*, Im familiar with G?del, so it doesnt bother me any.

              *Aristotle has a legitimate excuse.

              1. But doesn’t that make you just a little bit of a utilitarian?

                Or is this something like religious faith? As an anarchist-utilitarian-atheist, I have a hard time understanding that as well.

                1. But doesn’t that make you just a little bit of a utilitarian?

                  As I said, I acknowledge the contradiction. See G?del and suck it up and deal.

                  Ive described my views as deontological realist libertarianism.

                  The deontological part explains the antiutilitarianism. The realist part explains both the antianarchism and the g?delism (reality says my system will have contradictions).

                  anarchist-utilitarian-atheist

                  Im none of the 3. We are exact opposites. And yet, apparently we reach the same conclusion on many things.

                  You get to be 3rd againsts the wall (following the marketing dept of the CCC and INTJs).

                  1. Fair enough. Though I am not entirely convinced that Goedel is applicable, but I would have to agree that any system sufficiently complex to describe human politics and economics is bound to have some contradictions or unresolvable questions.

                    Im none of the 3. We are exact opposites. And yet, apparently we reach the same conclusion on many things.

                    I’ve noticed that as well, which is why I am asking you. I truly am curious, and I hope it doesn’t seem like I am picking on you or trying to prove you’re stupid or something.

                    I’ll have to read more on the single land tax idea.

              2. “I acknowledge the contradiction. However, unlike Rand or Aristotle*, Im familiar with G?del, so it doesnt bother me any.

                *Aristotle has a legitimate excuse.”

                What do you mean Rand didn’t have a legitimate excuse? Doesn’t Godel give her one?

            2. Another answer however:

              I see no issues whatsoever with a single land tax. I kind of see the Georgist points on property. Property rights are tricky under natural law.

            3. So far government is the best way to secure property rights and enforce contracts.

              Unfortunately it pays for this service is by violating both.

              1. But with a single land tax, it wouldnt be violating it. You pay the rents* on the land for the security of property rights. You get 100% of improvements/labor. I can deal with it.

                *economic sense

                1. Not far from here is an town that decided to evict as many poor people as possible by raising property taxes to a point where only the wealthy could afford to live there. One guy I knew lived in a dump on a postage stamp that had been in his family for over a century, until his property taxes inched up to the point where they were more than he could get renting the property.
                  Needless to say he sold it, and it was promptly bulldozed to make room for a mc mansion.

                  1. Property taxes != Single Land Taxes.

                    1. However, some of the same types of things would happen under a single land tax. Looks like the land ended up the hands of someone who had a higher economic use for it.

                    2. All taxes become tools of social engineering.

                      Even a national sales tax aka Fair Tax would quickly become a tool of social engineering as this become taxed more than that and the other isn’t taxed at all..

                    3. would quickly become

                      Your tense is wrong, considering the current tax rates on, for example, booze.

                    4. Booze is somewhat socially acceptable.
                      Unlike, say, cigarettes where more of the cost of the product is taxes than tobacco.

                      Perhaps “in time” instead of “quickly”?

                    5. And Im agreeing with your point. Im saying that the single land tax IN ITS PURE AND IMPOSSIBLE FORM, is the only tax I could support.

                      It would be abused, of course, because humans would be involved. I would rather have abused a supportable tax than have abused a long list of unsupportable taxes.

                    6. It would be abused, of course, because humans would be involved.

                      It would be abused because people seek to power abuse it.

                      People who would not abuse power have no interest in it.

                    7. People who would not abuse power

                      Can you point these people out to me? Ive yet to meet one.

                      Its part of the reason Im a minarchist, power corrupts. The greater the power, the more the corruption.

                      There are no right people to be in charge.

                    8. I figure we’d be better off if public servants were selected by lottery instead of elections.

                      It is true that everyone is prone to corruption, but power seekers are more prone if not already corrupt.

                    9. Lottery is good because there is no incentive to sell out to win reelection.

                      At worst is a “get what I can get for myself” effort while in office, but that should generally be offset by the other members. Plus, some sort of reasonable checks and balances type system.

                    10. Plus, some sort of reasonable checks and balances type system.

                      Won’t work without incentives.

                      What incentive is there to repeal shitty legislation?
                      What incentive to judges have to strike down shitty legislation?
                      What incentive do both have to create more shitty legislation?

                      *None.
                      *None.
                      *To give the appearance of “doing something”.

                    11. What incentive is there to repeal shitty legislation?
                      What incentive to judges have to strike down shitty legislation?
                      What incentive do both have to create more shitty legislation?

                      1. Because you’re subject to it
                      2. Because you’re subject to it
                      3. Less because you might have retaliatory legislation by the next group of people pissed off with what you did.

                      There’s always laws random people want to repeal and random people want to enact, so repealing should be made easy and enecting hard so that only the most robust laws stay on the books.

    2. It was a snarky way to say tax policy is, perhaps, the least sensible way to address income inequality if you think that is a real problem.

      In case you have not noticed, their is a lot of whining on the left about tax cuts for the rich(despite there being across the board cuts), and that taxes must be raised on the upper end because upper incomes are not paying enough in taxes even though they pay at a higher rate.

  12. “Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth; Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.”

    1. Dearth Panels!

      1. Darth Panel? Totally taking that for SWTOR when I get it.

        1. Or Dearth Vader.

          1. Dearth Evader?

            1. That sounds like a Light Side name. Dearth Imposer? Dearth Divider? Dearth Maker?

              When I played the evil mode in the previous SW:KOTOR incarnations (I actually much prefer playing the good guy), my name was Mal Feasor.

              1. Dearth Maker is good. Creator of shortages.

                Though if Hugo Chavez plays the game the name might be taken.

                1. Other synonyms for dearth include scarcity and famine.
                  Yep, Dearth Maker would be a fine name for an evil government bureaucrat, or Sith.
                  Is there a meaningful difference?

            2. Then again Dearth Maker might be interpreted as a mispronunciation of a Led Zeppelin song.

              1. I’d use that in a parody song, but they never actually said “D’yer Mak’er” in the song.

        2. Serious (OK, not really) question – when the Old Republic (or whatever the Bioware MMO is named) comes out in November, what do you think the dark/light breakdown is going to be? From what my friends intend to play it seems like it’s going to be 90% Sith to 10% Jedi. Game still looks sick as hell though.

          1. I’m probably gonna start with Light Side and move around to whatever any of my IRL friends or former guildmates from my WoW days go to (I always preferred the utility of the LS’s powers in the previous games). Across every MMO I’ve ever dabbled in the good side had better numbers (your server may vary), so I really doubt that even with something as intrinsically cool as the Sith the breakdown will be so fierce. The hardcore set (both gamers and Lucasnerds) will likely break Sith, but the casuals will overwhelm them and play Jedi.

            1. Speaking of BioWare, I hope that the multiplayer co-op in Mass Effect 3 serves as a testbed for a future ME MMO. The universe surrounding it is set up well for it (assuming the storyline heads in the right place) and it could have some really interesting flexibility compared to the traditional good v. evil setup in just about every other MMO. Combined with the natural attraction of shooter based PvP and there could be a winner there.

              1. That could be pretty incredible. If KOTOR manages to be a good MMO, Bioware can use that experience to craft a ME MMO, and you’re right – that universe could make for a really interesting MMO world.

    2. Every advanced social democracy is soo wrong. I herds it on teh radios.

      1. Fuck off, you pustular cunt.

  13. Shorter lefty response to this article: “It’s not fair that other people have more money than me! Even if they work harder than I do, wake up earlier than me, go to bed later than me, are smarter and more creative than me, and take risks I’m unwilling to take!”

    1. malfeasence & misrepresentation aint fair

      1. You mean FRAUD, Orrin?

    2. You know, there are lots of perfectly good criticisms of the left without inventing absurd caricatures to argue with. Why must someone always build strawmen to burn?

  14. In another note:

    Lying, cheating climate scientists caught lying, cheating again

    The story so far: ten days ago a self-proclaimed “sceptical” climate scientist named Professor Richard Muller of Berkeley University, California, managed to grab himself some space in the Wall Street Journal (of all places) claiming that the case for global warming scepticism was over. Thanks to research from his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures (BEST) project, Professor Muller stated confidently, we now know that the planet has warmed by almost one degree centigrade since 1950. What’s more, he told the BBC’s Today programme, there is no sign that this global warming has slowed down.

    […]

    The GWPF’s David Whitehouse is not impressed:

    Indeed [BEST] seems to have worked hard to obscure [the 10 year hiatus]. They present data covering more almost 200 years is presented with a short x-axis and a stretched y-axis to accentuate the increase. The data is then smoothed using a ten year average which is ideally suited to removing the past five years of the past decade and mix the earlier standstill years with years when there was an increase. This is an ideal formula for suppressing the past decade’s data.

    Muller’s colleague Professor Judith Curry ? who besides being a BEST co-author chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology ? is even less impressed.

    There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’

    Bailey is crying in bed, still in his PJs…

    1. Ron Bailey on Muller’s “work” here.

      To his credit, Bailey does warn that the findings were a) preliminary and b) Muller was criticized for releasing them before allowing for peers to review them:

      On the other hand, it must be noted that BEST’s efforts have not received universal approbation. Both skeptics and alarmists (I use the terms they call each other) take Muller and BEST to task for releasing conclusions in advance of peer review. Particularly at issue will be the validity of whatever statistical tweaking BEST is applying to temperature datasets. It will be very interesting to see what happens as the BEST project analyses proceed to peer review.

      By the way, Muller was NO “climate change sceptic.”

    2. I saw that in the paper.
      Prominent skeptic admits that there is global warming.
      OK. Alternatively one could say Prominent skeptic admits that the climate is not static.
      Maybe he denied there were ever ice ages. Perhaps he never allowed his children to see those cartoons.

      And what’s the point? It didn’t say that the denier admitted that human activity is the cause of our ever changing climate.

      What’s the big, fat, hairy deal?

      1. Muller had spent a lot of time arguing that the data were bad, and that the climatologists were cherry-picking stations to show what they wanted to show. Muller and his team figured out a way to use the other stations. The result? The same graph everyone produced before.

        Muller hasn’t admitted AGW yet, but the apoplectic reaction of the creationists tell you that they know what’s coming.

        1. Re: Jersey Patriot,

          Muller and his team figured out a way to use the other stations. The result? The same graph everyone produced before.

          And yet you don’t find the fact that he went immediately to the press, even before the ink of the report was barely dry to announce that GW skepticism was “dead,” uncomfortable in any way, JP?

          He also said that warming hasn’t stopped. But it did. You don’t find that at least mildly suspicious? Was he really a ‘skeptic’?

    3. We’ve always hated that Professor.

      1. We hated him BEFORE we loved him !

    4. Strip away Delingpole’s hysterics, and his only substantive argument is that a 10-year moving average is too long. That’s not much to get hysterical about.

      1. Re: Jersey Patriot,

        Delingpole’s hysterics, and his only substantive argument is that a 10-year moving average is too long.

        Delingpole’s hysetrics? Isthat what you re seriously focusing on?

        Ok, Mr. obfuscation:

        The GWPF’s David Whitehouse is not impressed:

        Indeed [BEST] seems to have worked hard to obscure [the 10 year hiatus]. They present data covering more almost 200 years is presented with a short x-axis and a stretched y-axis to accentuate the increase. The data is then smoothed using a ten year average which is ideally suited to removing the past five years of the past decade and mix the earlier standstill years with years when there was an increase. This is an ideal formula for suppressing the past decade’s data.

        Muller’s colleague Professor Judith Curry ? who besides being a BEST co-author chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology ? is even less impressed.

        There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’

  15. Here’s why the left won’t accept this as a counterargument:

    Because it means that people have to take responsibility for household formation decisions and choices.

    And that’s not acceptable.

    No woman should ever have to refrain from having children out of wedlock if she can’t afford them. No woman should ever have to stay married for economic reasons if she is unhappy. No young person should ever have to live with their parents until they can afford to live alone. No old person should ever have to move in with their children.

    Libertarians are often accused of atomizing society into individuals without regard for the costs of doing so – but liberals do so even more, aspirationally. Expecting people to form into household units that make economic sense is just not reasonable to liberals.

    1. Re: Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy,

      Libertarians are often accused of atomizing society into individuals without regard for the costs of doing so[…]

      Which in all fairness it’s nothing more than a red herring. Why would there be “cost” associated with treating individuals as individuals? There’s no other reality.

      1. You mean you lack the ability to see any other reality.

        Would it make sense to talk of bees only as individuals? Or is there a limit to the amount you can describe bees if you leave out colonies?

        What makes you think humans are totally asocial creatures? Whatever it is, it has mislead you.

        1. You are usually pretty bad Tony. But denying the value of the individual beyond the hive is pretty fucking bad even for you. Those are people we are talking about not bees you fascist creep.

          1. I agree that there is useful information to be gained by describing humans on individual terms. But you will lack significant information if you refuse to also describe them as members of communities. We are not a species that exists as atomistic individuals, we are very much a social species, so social metrics are important.

            1. John is not your arm or leg Tony. Communities are groups of individuals. On some level, the group doing well benefits all the individuals, but no group should expect an individual to demean him or herself to promote the other individuals of the group.

            2. Re: Stoopid In Amerika,

              I agree that there is useful information to be gained by describing humans on individual terms.

              That’s because humans ARE individuals, turd.

              But you will lack significant information if you refuse to also describe them as members of communities.

              You mean it’s useful to be a racist? Or an elitist?

              Glad to know you said so.

              We are not a species that exists as atomistic individuals,

              ALL humans exist as individuals, idiot. The fact that humans interact only means that: That they interact, not that we’re cojoined.

              we are very much a social species, so social metrics are important.

              You mean racial metrics? Or elitist metrics? Those metrics?

              1. I used the example of bees not to say that humans are as social as bees, but to make the point that you cannot understand some species by describing them only as individuals. Describing bees without talking about colonies means you aren’t describing the species, but a limited aspect of it. Humans aren’t that social, but we are social. It is a reality, contrary to your claim. Pretending that we are only individuals and not also families and societies means you will come to the wrong conclusions about how humans should live.

                1. Pretending that we are only individuals and not also families and societies means you will come to the wrong conclusions about how humans should live.

                  I don’t pretend that human individuals don’t make decisions based on group dynamics, but you frequently appeal to the group dynamic over the individual, which I believe is wrong.

                  Telling me I need to do such and such because its good for the group is playing the group dynamic over the individual. Explaining how a group may work together over certain individual preferences is certainly valid however, because that’s not a judgement call.

                  1. There is no social policy I support that is not meant to increase the well-being of individual human beings, and I don’t mean on aggregate–there’s no policy I support that burdens one human to elevate another. I just don’t define progressive taxation as burden (rather the attempt to pay for society without burdening anyone).

                    1. There is no social policy I support that is not meant to increase the well-being of individual human beings, and I don’t mean on aggregate–there’s no policy I support that burdens one human to elevate another. I just don’t define progressive taxation as burden (rather the attempt to pay for society without burdening anyone).

                      I can accept an argument of what level we should support our fellow human beings if you drop the argument about how much is too much for other human beings. Then we solidify the price it costs for people to live well enough (provided they make good choices, I will not support a wastral determined to destroy himself) and discuss how best to meet the cost overall.

                      However, liberals that continue to argue the blank checkbook appraoch to poverty get nowhere with me.

                    2. There is no social policy I support that is not meant to increase the well-being of individual human beings, and I don’t mean on aggregate–there’s no policy I support that burdens one human to elevate another. I just don’t define progressive taxation as burden (rather the attempt to pay for society without burdening anyone).

                      So you have solved your conundrum by defining away “burden”. Astounding!!

                2. Re: Really Imbecilic Result Of The Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem,

                  I used the example of bees not to say that humans are as social as bees,

                  No, you imbecile, not like bees. You’re an ignoramus.

                  Bees are social animals, but you’re conflating the social relationship of bees with those of humans. Bees are highly hierarchized robots with pre-programmed behaviors -yeah, sure, just like humans.

                  IDIOT!

                  1. Humans are hierarchical animals who literally go insane if they’re left alone too long. We aren’t as social as bees, but we aren’t as atomistic as you think either.

                    1. Re: Just Plain Stoopid Tony,

                      Humans are hierarchical animals

                      What? Are you really this stoopid, Tony?

                      who literally go insane if they’re left alone too long.

                      SO? Why would that turn humans into a hive?

                3. Get off my lawn punk !

                  1. A federal tax rate of seventy cents on the dollar isn’t “burdensome taxation”.

                    Wow, life just gets fuckin’ weirder by the moment.

                    1. When did I advocate that?

                    2. Just a week or two ago, you *finally* put a number on what you believe to be “their fair share”, and it was seventy percent.

                      What, you don’t remember that?

            3. HA! Nobody describes humans only in terms of individuals. However, it IS possible to describe society as an aggregate of individuals. The reverse, however, is not true, because only a portion of what shapes us comes from our experience of society-at-large.

              1. Liberals HATE individualism. It gets in the way of their command-and-control schemes.

        2. If humans are a hive, I think Tony needs to be sacrificed for the common good.

          1. …to the Queen. What an interesting theory.

        3. Re: Stoopid In Amerika,

          You mean you lack the ability to see any other reality.

          No, I mean my ability to see reality, you schizophrenic.

          Would it make sense to talk of bees only as individuals?

          Does it makes sense to collectivize your ass? Seems that it already belongs to the pimps in DC – you implied as much.

          Or is there a limit to the amount you can describe bees if you leave out colonies?

          They’re still only bees, moron. The colony dies without ONE individual – the queen. Try factor that into your “collective is reality” meme.

          What makes you think humans are totally asocial creatures?

          WHO THE FUCK said otherwise, you stupid lying sack of dog-shit?

          1. I’m sorry your entire worldview is informed by total ignorance of human biology and sociology, but there’s no need for all the vulgarity.

            1. Re: Stoopid In Amerika,

              I’m sorry your entire worldview is informed by total ignorance of human biology

              Oh, there’s ignorance, no question about it, but it ain’t coming from me, you direct result of the Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem.

              but there’s no need for all the vulgarity.

              Tell that to your pimp masters who own your ass – those with the big guns you pay to “protect” you. Go, git.

              1. If government were a child, I’d molest it.

        4. I give you a C-. I don’t think Tony is THAT stupid and collectivist.

          1. He’s pretty close, Nate.

            1. No I’m don’t!

        5. Would it make sense to talk of bees only as individuals?

          Of course it would, once you understand that its part of their individual nature to act within the hive. The nature of the worker bee is to gather pollen for the hive, the nature of the queen is to lay eggs, etc.

          In fact, YOU’RE the one that denies that humans are social creatures.

          For example, if it’s in our nature to care about poor people (because we’re social animals) then why do you believe voluntary charity will be insufficient? If it’s insufficient, that means it’s not in our nature. If it’s not in our nature, then we’re not social animals, or at least not as social as YOU want us to be (and now we see that it’s all about what YOU want other people to be).

    2. Expecting people to do anything that does not appeal to their base emotions is not reasonable to liberals.
      Which of course makes perfect sense, since liberals have forgone all ability to reason with the single exception of reverse engineering rational excuses for their base emotions.

      1. My hot wheels are just like teh lub-rahls.

        1. Shorter Orin, I can’t speak or write English and I am retarded. Yet somehow despite my disabilities manage to be completely unsympathetic.

          1. Come on, John. That was much longer than most of O2’s posts.

            Oh, I almost forgot. Four sentences, herbs.

          2. Get off my lawn !

          3. Lulz u were spoofef by spoofr

            Goota rethik ur [memz]

    3. See the chick over on the OWS thread bitching that she can’t work at Vogue for an example of this. She can’t be expected to move in with some Wall Stret guy to support her lifestyle. No. she is entitled to do exactly what she wants without any cost whatsoever.

    4. Spot on. When there’s been no change in individual income ‘inequality’ but a change in family/household, it pretty much boils down to having too many damn wiener kids or otherwise diluting your income by supporting non-productive people. Which, by all means, have at it. Just don’t act like it isn’t a choice.

      1. Lisa: We are not wieners!

    5. So it’s more unintended consequences of Women’s Lib and the War on Poverty. This is going to be a fun argument to unleash when I get the opportunity.

  16. These include: diminished social contact between the rich and the poor; rising divorce rates and the breakdown of families; fewer income earners in a household because of a lack of education, death or incarceration and so on.

    Incarceration. HMM. Could that 800 pound gorilla sitting in the corner known as the Drug war have anything to do with that? Maybe it is just me, but I am thinking sending millions of people to prison and effectively putting a glass ceiling on their life time earning potential might aggrivate the income gap.

    1. Very interesting idea, John. You’d think there would be study out there trying to quantify the long-term opportunity costs of the WOD.

    2. Could that 800 pound gorilla sitting in the corner known as the Drug war have anything to do with that?

      Surely you jest…

    3. Lulz wingnutz

      Look again high genie correlates 2 low taxez for [job createrz]

  17. Can somebody explain to me the logic of the Gini coefficient? I understand what it measures, but I’ve never understood why I should give a damn and why socialists of all stripes natter on about it so much.

    1. If justice means being free from force, fraud and coercion, Gini coefficient is a measurement of injustice.
      The lower it is, the more injustice there is.
      The more of Paul’s bills are paid by Peter against Peter’s will, the lower the Gini coefficient.
      The more that is given to the unproductive by government at the expense of the productive, the lower the Gini coefficient.
      The greater the likelihood that you will be punished for the crime of “getting ahead” by having your property confiscated from you to be given to someone more “deserving”, the lower the Gini coefficient.
      For socialists the optimal Gini coefficient is zero, as in a total absence of justice.

    2. Remember when it was considered good form for leftists to pretend they weren’t angling for straight up redistribution of wealth? …OK, I don’t either. But they seem to have gotten more shameless.

      Let’s look at this lovely map. Canada’s Gini coefficient is between .3 and .34, and the US’s is between .45 to .49. Is the standard of living drastically different in these two nations? Does the US in fact have more in common with fellow glaring purple country China? If not then why are we even talking about this?

      1. We should be more like Mongolia and Kazakhstan!

        1. Hey! Those cyber goons from Kazakhstan were nice!

  18. This is not an apples to apples comparison with the CBO study. This data looks at only 1994-present, when the CBO’s data looks at a 30 year window. I would be interested to see the gini coefficient data going back that far. Also, why a 16 year window instead of 30 in the first place?

    1. And that’s the question the wingnutz wont ask.

      1. But you will right Orin?

        1. yep, me AND shinobi.

    2. Re: Shinobi,

      This is not an apples to apples comparison with the CBO study.

      It serves to show that the CBO study is skewed already, by emhasizing household instead of individual income. You MISSED the POINT.

      1. Do we have that comparison going back to 1979? I’d love to see it. I think that would actually be a valid refutation of the CBO study. This on the other hand, just looks like someone shortened a time series and declared victory. (Actually the data I could find indicated that household gini coefficient AND the individual coefficient increased 18% amd 20% between 1967 and 2005, I’d like to find a more accurate comparison.)

        There is certainly an interesting discussion to have regarding what the appropriate period to analyze the gini coefficient should be, but this article doesn’t make that comparison. IT also seems to choose an arbitrary year to begin its data stream, coincidentally an arbitrary year right after a major jump in the gini coefficient was recorded.

        I just want the analysis to be accurate. I don’t care who is right.

  19. One other thing about these statistics, this is reported income. There is something out there called the black market that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. How much income are the lowest 20 percent getting under the table either through undocumented jobs or illegal activity?

    1. As a ghetto dweller, I can tell you it’s quite a bit. From the people selling drugs and robbing people to the guys getting paid cash to work construction.

      1. unfortunately the constant redistribution of wealth through crime diminishes its value at every transaction (due to inefficiences)

        The poor and criminal move alot of money around, but in alot of welath destroying ways.

    2. That’s a good point. A lot of people at the lower income levels never even file income taxes and if they do, report as little cash income as they can get away with. Talk to anyone who works for tips.

      1. On a whole though I don’t think that effects the GINI index. Alot of under the table money is inefficiently utilized. I mean they’re not putting it into CD’s or hedge funds or anything.

        1. Not true. It gets put in CD’s or hedge funds AFTER it is spent to purchase goods and/or services.

          1. Alright, so its possible it gets recorded farther up the GINI index, but how big could the volume really be to not be noticed?

            really, I think the bottom GINI indexgets hit most with the inefficiencies of monetary movement due to inner poor crime. If you live in a cash and goods environment, its alot easier to lose your accumulated wealth without recourse than if you reside higher up and can acquire property and bonds.

    3. I was shocked (truly) to see that drug lord on the forbes 400 richest people list. They put his business as Drug Lord. Awesome. He is over an esstimated 1 billion or so.

      He should be an American political donor.

      1. How do you know he is not?

        1. touche

  20. Marxist take on OWS link via Hot Air

    http://www.theamericanconserva…..ke-on-ows/

  21. I’ll bet these protesters would also insist vehemently that FDR and his New Deal ended the Great Depression. MAGIC!!!

    1. Who was FDR ?

      1. Were really sorry you were victimized by the public education system Orin. We like to help but it seems you are too far gone.

        1. No, John, he’s absolutely right. Anybody who disagrees with the notion that Roosevelt’s skull-fuckery of the republic pulled us miraculously out of the Great Depression clearly doesn’t know shit about shit. I mean, we’re just retarded right-wing nuts, right?

          1. evidently res does “know shit” about “skull-fuckery”…or he’s talking out his ass.

            1. Orin you are so stupid talking out of your ass would be an improvement.

            2. 1) Try harder.

              2) Try harder.

              3) Dude, seriously, try harder.

              4) I could never quite identify you consistently on your ideology. Are you a run-of-the-mill Democrat, or one of those I AM INDEPENDUNT AND A LONE WOLF quasi-political people that like taking shits on the big, bad Republicans because, you know, cheering for all the oppressed serfs in this country is just the right and hip thing to do?

              1. 1) ah huh
                2) ahh huh
                3) ahhh huh
                4) progressive militarist.

                1. “progressive militarist.”

                  aka….neocon.

      2. FDR was a socialist Democrat who admired people like Hitler and Mussolini until we wound up fighting their respective armies.

    2. Do you know what the New Deal entailed? Do you understand that it wasn’t only the New Deal, but the World War that propelled us to the economic prosperity and idealistic/ conformist/paranoid views of the 1950’s?

  22. What you hoobs fail to understand is the rich have an unequal amount of political power. Their rights are upheld while the basic human rights of the underclass are trampled on daily.

    1. And the sollution to that is to make the government, which you admit is controlled by the rich even more powerful. I mean what could possibly go wrong?

      And unless you are talking about the Drug War, which lefties either love or don’t give a shit about enough to vote based on it, the basic rights of the underclass, whoever they are, are not trampled daily anywhere outside your skull.

      1. It’s kind of like those liberals that walk around yelling about how so many people are starving in this country. When’s the last time you saw a homeless guy that didn’t look like his BMI was a little on the too-high side?

        1. at zucotti plaza…until they over- gorge on the donated restaurant food.

        2. “Food Insecurity” I think is what they talk about. As far as I can figure, anyone who says that at some point in the past year they could not afford as much food as they thought they needed is considered food insecure. Which does not indicate a danger of starvation, or even chronic undernourishment or malnutrition.

          1. They are all about food insecurity until they start talking about the scourge of chilhood obesity. In the end, the solutions are always the same to every crisis; they get to be in charge and take everyone’s money and tell everyone how to live. Funny that.

            1. To John: Yeah, that’s one of those really mind-numbingly retarded ones — food for all, foor security is a top priority, never again shall anybody want for food, and all of that jazz, up until the point you get to obesity or fast foods, at which point all they want to is limit this, ban that, raise the price of those, etc. It’s so fucking stupid.

          2. That’s if they’re taking it seriously. I’m willing to bet to most of them, that means not being able to afford lard-ass snack parties every afternoon while you play back shit on TiVo.

          3. There was an article a couple weeks ago on the New York OWS protests where this girl complained about having to eat rice and beans for dinner most nights. I guess she considered herself “food insecure,” but for most of human history those have been basic nutrition staples.

            1. Yeah — when you’re living in history’s most prosperous country, and where even when you’re in knee-deep shit and poverty (by that country’s standards) you have access to a selection of foods in every grocery store that entire civilizations elsewhere can only dream of, it’s easy to bitch and whine about not being able to dine at a five-star French restaurant with your asshat pinko buddies every night.

              1. res – u gotta get ur TP’s straight. are they; hipsters, smelly hippies, or pinkos ?

                1. They’re all of the above, stOOpid.

          4. “Food insecurity” = hand-wringing bullshit scare term used by liberals.

        3. To John: Yeah, that’s one of those really mind-numbingly retarded ones — food for all, foor security is a top priority, never again shall anybody want for food, and all of that jazz, up until the point you get to obesity or fast foods, at which point all they want to is limit this, ban that, raise the price of those, etc. It’s so fucking stupid.

  23. Ah more fun with charts. Why start at 1994 (the peak of the line since WWII!)? Prior to 1990 and after WWII the line was below .40.

    1. “…[T]he years from 1994 through 2010, for which the U.S. Census has published detailed data related to the incomes earned by Americans based on their annual surveys of the U.S. population…”

  24. Meaning it does indeed seem that the age of Reaganomics significantly affected income inequality, even based on the limited Gini method.

    1. Hey, stupid: Why is “income inequality” a problem? What is important is wealth increase, not income.

      1. Twas the subject of this article?

        1. Re: Cognitive Impaired Tony,

          Twas the subject of this article?

          “The charts show that although there is a slight increase in income inequality for U.S. families and households, there is absolutely no significant change in the inequality among U.S. individual income earners from 1994 through 2010.

          1. Furthermore,

            “Ivan Kitov has done an extended analysis of the U.S. Census’ income data back to 1947. He found the following related to the personal income distribution (PID) for the U.S. since 1960 (emphasis ours):

            In fact, the Gini curve associated with the fine PIDs is a constant near 0.51 between 1960 and 2005 despite a significant increase in the GPI/GDP ratio and the portion of people with income during this period (see Figure 1). This is a crucial observation because of the famous discussion on the increasing inequality in the USA as presented by the Gini coefficient for households (US CB, 2000). Obviously, the increasing G for households reflects some changes in their composition, i.e. social processes, but not economic processes as defined by distribution of personal incomes.”

          2. Yeah and my question is why start at 1994? That happens to be the year the line was the highest since WWII. It is relatively flat since 1994, but not if you go back further. Nobody is talking about the vast inequality that has happened only since 1994. Most people talk about the last 30 years.

            1. Yeah and my question is why start at 1994?

              Because that’s when the time series begins? Why they used that time series in particular, I’m not sure–it may be the only in which they can see individual and household incomes, and link individuals to households.

              The post also references a study of a longer time period, as I noted above.

              You didn’t RTFA, did you? Or understand the summary?

              1. Tony bitches about income inequality because he feels guilty about having a higher income than others, yet is unwilling to divest of it, thus assuaging his guilt.

                Well, that’s ONE reason.

            2. Yeah and my question is why start at 1994? That happens to be the year the line was the highest since WWII. It is relatively flat since 1994, but not if you go back further. Nobody is talking about the vast inequality that has happened only since 1994. Most people talk about the last 30 years.

              But this still fails to support the claims of the Left that “income disparity” has CONTINUED to increase over the decades. If this increase occured at one point in time and then stabilized, then you can’t argue that our current practices are INCREASING “income disparity”.

            3. Nobody is talking about the vast inequality that has happened only since 1994. Most people talk about the last 30 years.

              Yeah, but the justification comes from the idea that it’s a TREND. If it was just a 15 year blip during 80s/early 90s, nobody is going to care.

    2. During the Reagan presidency only Gordon Gecko could afford a brick cell phone. Today just about everyone has one. Ditto for computers, internet, digital music, nicer cars, etc.

      You think the government could have provided all that within a period of 30 years? Because the OWS thieves would dismantle the ability for the wealthy and the capitalists to raise technology and standard of living for all peoples.

      1. Focusing on gadgets is a common tactic of the plutocracy apologists, but misses the big picture. Gadgets by their nature are not basic necessities. You still cannot have a refrigerator, air conditioning, a car, a home, and a big one, healthcare, without a more significant income than many in the US have. I’m not sure what your point is. Yay capitalism, it made phones smarter and smaller. Good for it.

        I guess I find it odd that you guys seem perfectly OK dictating to the poor how many basic necessities they ought to have, but think it’s sacrilege to question if there’s too much luxury for the rich.

        1. You still cannot have a refrigerator, air conditioning, a car, a home, and a big one, healthcare, without a more significant income than many in the US have.

          How many average poor cannot afford a basic apartment, routine vaccinations and OTC medicine and a used refrigerator. I made practically no money in college yet could afford all of those.

          The only way your argument wins is if you keep moving the goalpost.

          1. If I can’t say rich person X has too many luxuries, then what entitles you to say poor person X has too many necessities?

            1. WTF kind of argument is that? Too many necesseties? I’m not trying to argue they should be poorer, but saying that welath needs to be redistributed down to them is rediculous if they’re living decent lives (food shelter and basic health). Society allows them to do better than that and that’s great, but why do we need to continue to move the line of what people “need”?

              1. It’s not fair that some people have more nice things than other people.

                Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to grab a tan in my home tanning bed before the masseuse and mobile nail salon show up for my appointments.

              2. Because standards evolve. Importantly, certain things that were once luxuries are now needed to be able to participate in a competitive market. If the market is going to deliver on all your promises then people need to have access to it, don’t you think?

                1. More free stuff paid for by rich people!

                2. Because standards evolve. Importantly, certain things that were once luxuries are now needed to be able to participate in a competitive market. If the market is going to deliver on all your promises then people need to have access to it, don’t you think?

                  Not nearly to the point liberals think they’ve evolved. Supporting a rail worker’s 6 a day cappacino habit is rediculously evolved.

                3. Because standards evolve. Importantly, certain things that were once luxuries are now needed to be able to participate in a competitive market.

                  And at all levels of income, one has to prioritize the list of goods they “need” most and can afford. It’s ironic that you called the example of gadgets a “tactic”, when you yourself used the tactic of distraction by focusing on the innovation of decreased size. The example was demonstrating the greater affordability of gadgets, not their characteristics.

                  If the market is going to deliver on all your promises then people need to have access to it, don’t you think?

                  No, because I don’t believe that anything will deliver on all of my wants and desires. This “magical market” perjorative the Left likes to giggle at is a strawman construct.

        2. +100 for entertainment value. Really, you blew me the fuck away, Tony.

        3. Re: The really stoopid, ignorant fool I should know better not to reply to,

          Gadgets by their nature are not basic necessities. You still cannot have a refrigerator, air conditioning, a car, a home, and a big one, healthcare, without a more significant income than many in the US have.

          That’s false – NONE OF THOSE THINGS are “basic necessities.” You can’t eat a car. MORON! Besides, all those things have become more and more accessible as productivity increases. When the price of those goods fall, you don’t need a greater income, and they have fallen – more people own cars, fridges and air conditioners than ever before. Again, you’re nothing but a lying turd with legs – I told you, what’s important is weath increase, not income.

          And glad you added healthcare into the mix, which is NOT a necessity, just like car repair is not a necessity even if you have a car. It’s a service like any other, that’s all.

          1. bull -EVERYONE will eventually require healthcare but everyone does NOT have a car, esp in urban areas w good public transport like NYC.

            1. Healthcare has to have defined boundaries, otherwise you’ve created an open checkbook that everyone writes in with no concern about who is paying.

            2. Re: Double Asshole,

              bull -EVERYONE will eventually require healthcare

              EVERYONE, you moo-cow?

          2. Healthcare isn’t a necessity, because you say so. But a wealthy person’s 4th yacht afforded by the latest tax cut IS a necessity?

            1. Don’t bother, I’ll do it for you:

              “But freedom blahblahblah bullshit n stuff!”

              1. Freedom is bad. Join The Hive, like our bee brothers.

                1. Resistance is futile.

            2. The latest tax cut

              might as well say “the latest forgotten additional tax”

              If an individual doesn’t believe any wealth is his, why try and earn it?

              1. Yeah, Tony. When WAS that most-recent tax cut?

                Oh, wait… there hasn’t BEEN one in years.

                More wealth-envy. Not at all surprising.

              2. We’ve had income tax rates double what they are now and nobody ever stopped trying to earn wealth. I want taxes to be as low as possible while paying for the necessities of civilization. That’s all. If you can say a poor child is not entitled to basic necessities then I sure as fuck can say a rich person isn’t entitled to unlimited luxury.

                1. Re: Totally Ignorant of his own history,

                  We’ve had income tax rates double what they are now and nobody ever stopped trying to earn wealth.

                  Yes, they did. Forgot the Great Depression, Hoover’s tax increases? Did you forget FDR’s in 1937 which ushered in the next Great Depression? Did you forget the Recession of 1991 after Bush Pere increased taxes? Do you really think those tax increases did not affect people’s opportunity costs?

                  You’re a moron, an economics ignoramus and also totally ignorant of US economic history. Your ass belongs to the pimps in DC as well – you implied as much.

                  1. Well it wasn’t that simple, but huge increases in taxes did shock the nation’s economy while it reoriented to the new normal and the wealthy looked for ways to avoid the new tax rates.

                2. Taxes wouldn’t need to be double if we weren’t having decades of future money spent right this minute.

                  1. Taxes good!

                3. That’s because there were enough loopholes to get around them and the wealthy utilized them thoroughly. I dare you to find examples of wealthy that actually paid the 90% top tax rate.

                  1. It’s all symbolism, LIT. Tax hikes on anyone who makes over $200K, gay marriage, waving stoopid-ass signs on public property… like Carlin said, symbols are for the symbol-minded.

                4. “We’ve had income tax rates double”

                  Statutory rates are irrelevant. The bottom line is the government was taking LESS of people’s money back then as a percent of GDP.

            3. But a wealthy person’s 4th yacht afforded by the latest tax cut IS a necessity?

              Who said that? Point out the person who said that and we will all call them stupid.

        4. Except, it’s those gadgets (which are ubiquitous among the poor) that allow us to have a life that is innumerably better than the super rich of just three generations past.

          Yes, capitalism made smart phones smarter and smaller. It also made them much, much less expensive. Just like that refrigerator, air conditioning, car and home.

          If more significant income is needed so “many more in the US” can have those things, why do the super majority of people in the US actually…you know…have those things?

          Plus cable television, microwaves, and even smartphones?

  25. Tony|11.1.11 @ 3:30PM|#
    “I guess I find it odd that you guys seem perfectly OK dictating to the poor how many basic necessities they ought to have, but think it’s sacrilege to question if there’s too much luxury for the rich.”

    Shithead, you are the sleaziest poster here.
    No one ever said ‘the poor can’t have X’, they said ‘I’m not willing to buy more than X for the poor’.
    But, shithead, you knew that, didn’t you? There must be lower, more distasteful life-forms than you, but I’ve yet to find them, shithead. You should aspire to be a maggot.

  26. Isn’t this laissez-faire approach exactly what we tried from 1979 to
    2007, when inequality shot through the roof, according to the CBO?

    NO! What we had is government interference into free markets and when government interferes it distorts the market and bubbles are created and popped. Take Fannie and Freddie with all their just sign here and own a home loans for instance. It created a boom as homes were in demand and put a lot of people to work building them but it was a bubble bound to pop because it was created by government forcing banks out of time tested loan standards the community organizers like Obama called racist. You know its racist for a bank to require good credit, 10-15% down and ability to pay loan with one week’s pay etc…

    Many people want to blame Wall St and the removal of Glass-Steagall but the fact is if that never happened there is still a banking crisis because of sub primes loans banks were forced to come up with by government that were based on the economy.

    And another thing to consider is that if all those loans that were packed and sold were time tested loan standards before the government interfered then the Glass-Steagall thing wouldn’t have mattered much because they would have been responsible loans where mortgages were paid regardless of slowing economy.

    Pols like to have it both ways. For example Democrats are demonizing banks for not making small business loans yet require banks to have more cash on hand before making them. Dodd/Frank did that and did not address the F&F problem. Another example of government interfering into free markets is the Durbin Tax banks are now charging for debit card use. Example: Walmart and banks willfully agreed that Walmart will pay pennies per purchases using debit cards so banks didn’t charge you the customer to cover their processing cost. The Durbin Tax removed that and now banks have to charge you $5.00 a month for your debit card whether you use it or not to cover the cost while Dick Durbin demonizes banks for charging that fee he forced them into charging.

    Pols love to have both ways and its the same thing with the 70,000+ pages of tax code where pols are demonizing companies they tax for raising the cost of their product or service after pols raise their cost through higher taxes. Pols know those cost are always passed onto the consumer but its a win/win for them because they can then demonize the companies.

    Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan gets rid of all those hidden taxes and loopholes within the 70,000+ pages of tax code lobbyist lobby them to change etc… and when implemented 9-9-9 will result in an economic boom with cheaper products because companies will evaluate their bottom line with the money they save and lower cost trying to steal consumers from their competition. Competition is always good for the consumer and this is exactly why big corps lobby for taxes and loopholes that’ll hurt their small business counterparts and exactly the reason we need a Main St President not a Wall St POTUS like Obama has been or Romney will be.

    Basically at the root of the problem with the mortgage crisis is this noble but misguided idea that everyone deserves to own a home. Its not true! You deserve to ow a home when you can meet the free market standards for getting a loan. To pretend as pols do that banks want to loose money on their loans and need a bailout is nonsensical.

  27. Needless to say Shikha and that blog are pointing in the wrong direction. No one is really claiming there has been a huge jump in inequality between the bottom 80 percentile and the 81/99 percentiles although there has been some as you ascend the percentile. The big jump in inequality is between the bottom 80% and the top 1%. But nice try. The problem for apologists like these is it’s so easy see through them and their specious arguments.

  28. Shikma,

    Have you looked into the way the
    Political Calculations blog calculates
    the GINI coefficient? I took a quick
    look at the pages he/she referenced
    and the data lumps incomes $100K and
    up together, I think? Do you
    know how they calculate the top level
    incomes for that?
    I’ve seen other Gini coefficient
    calculations that come up with
    different numbers for income
    coefficients. Like here:
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/…..913pap.pdf
    If you look at the Table 3 on the page numbered 34 it has Gini coefficient
    numbers that are different then those cited here. It probably depends on
    what is used as income.

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