Obama Administration

Obama: Wrong About Income Inequality

The problem is joblessness, not rich people

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Are the rich getting richer? Yes. Are the poor getting poorer? No. In fact, over the past 35 years most Americans got richer. Has income inequality increased in the United States? Yes. Does it matter? Well, President Barack Obama thinks so. In a December speech at the Center for American Progress, the president declared that "a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" is "the defining challenge of our time." Is that true? No.

In December 2013, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study looked at historical tax burdens borne by Americans at all income levels. Among other things, the CBO examined after-tax income trends for each quintile of American households since 1979, including not just wages but benefits and transfer payments. Using the CBO data, the Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless has shown that from 1979 to 2010, the last year for which data are available, the bottom fifth's after-tax income in constant dollars rose by 49 percent. The incomes of households in the second lowest, middle, and fourth quintiles increased by 37 percent, 36 percent, and 45 percent, respectively. The poor and the middle class got richer.

Burtless then divides the households situated in the top fifth of incomes into four groups: those in 90th percentile and below, those in the 91st through 95th percentiles, those in the 96th through 99th percentiles, and the top 1 percent. From 1979 to 2010, incomes for those fortunate households increased by 54 percent, 67 percent, 79 percent, and 202 percent, respectively. The rich got richer too, and they got richer faster.

Because of these differential increases in income, the share of pre-tax national income going to the top quintile has increased from 43 percent in 1979 to just over 50 percent in 2010. The share of income accruing to the top 1 percent increased from 9 to 15 percent.

So inequality in the U.S. has increased. But if most Americans' incomes are rising, does it matter if some are getting a larger share?

Inequality is often expressed in the Gini coefficient, a number that ranges between zero (indicating complete equality) and one (indicating that all income goes to one person). The higher the number, the more concentrated the country's income. If the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, the Gini coefficient goes up. If everyone gets richer but the rich get more, the Gini coefficient still goes up.

The Harvard economist Martin Feldstein explained in 1999 why over-relying on this measure is a mistake. "The common procedure of regarding a higher Gini coefficient as a deterioration of the national condition," Feldstein wrote, "is equivalent to treating the marginal social utility of high incomes as negative, i.e., that something bad has occurred when the well-to-do become better off."

Those worried about rising income inequality also often make the mistake of assuming that each income quintile contains the same households. They don't. Between 2009 and 2011, for example, 31.6 percent of Americans fell below the official poverty threshold for at least two months, but only 3.5 percent stayed below it over the entire period.

In his December speech, the president suggested that rising inequality is limiting income mobility, leaving poor Americans increasingly stuck and struggling on the lower rungs. The data do not support this claim.

In 2009, two economists from the Office of Tax Analysis in the U.S. Treasury compared income mobility in two periods, 1987 to 1996 and 1996 to 2005. The results, published in the National Tax Journal, revealed that "over half of taxpayers moved to a different income quintile and that roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom income quintile moved up to a higher income group by the end of each period."

On the other hand, the researchers found that the incomes of taxpayers in the top 1 percent of the income distribution in 1996 were more likely to drop to a lower income group by 2005, although only 12 percent of those households fell out of the top quintile. Nevertheless, more than half of the households in the top 1 percent in 2005 were not there in 1996.

The researchers concluded that 57.5 percent of individuals changed income quintiles between 1996 and 2005, compared to 58.3 percent between 1987 and 1996. In other words, income mobility has barely changed.

The Treasury researchers updated their analysis of income mobility trends in a May 2013 study for the American Economic Review, finding that about 75 percent of taxpayers between 35 and 40 years of age in the second, middle and fourth income quintiles in 1987 had moved to a different quintile by 2007. For example, 24 percent of those who had been in the middle quintile in 1987 were still there in 2007, but 23 percent had moved up a quintile and 18 percent had moved down one. On the other hand, 42 percent of those who had started out in the bottom quintile remained there 20 years later, while 46 percent in the top quintile stayed on top.

But how did the children of households in the bottom and top quintiles fare? The researchers report that 27 percent of the 35-to-40-year-olds whose parents were in the bottom quintile in 1987 were also there in 2007, while 10 percent had made it into the top quintile. On the other hand, 39 percent of the kids whose parents were in top quintile in 1987 were still there in 2007; 9 percent had fallen to the bottom. In other words, kids, especially those whose parents were on the lower rungs, were more liable to change status than their parents. "We leave it to the reader to look at the results and decide whether they think the observed mobility and turnover at the top are sufficient and good," the Treasury researchers conclude.

In January, scholars from Harvard and University of California, Berkeley bolstered the Treasury economists' conclusions. Parsing data from the 1950s and 1970s, the researchers, who are involved with The Equality of Opportunity Project, reported that "measures of social mobility have remained stable over the second half of the twentieth century in the United States." The researchers also found that income inequality has indeed increased in the United States, which means that "the rungs on the income ladder have grown further apart." Nevertheless, "children's chances of climbing from lower to higher rungs have not changed."

What factors retard upward income mobility? Among other things, being located in the southeastern United States, greater residential segregation by race and ethnicity, poor public schools, residing in areas with lower social capital, and living in neighborhoods with higher percentages of single-parent families.

The real defining economic challenge of our time isn't to end inequality. It's persistent joblessness and weak economic growth perpetuated by feckless Obama administration policies.

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  1. Nice article, Ron. But you know better than to say What factors retard upward income mobility? It should read “What factors differently able upward income mobility?”

  2. Related econ stupidity:
    Housing in SF is expensive; a lot of people want to live in a small space and the gov’t restrictions further limit availability. The gov’t (natch) now sees this a a “crisis”.
    So what does the gov’t do? Subsidize buyers to the tune of $200K each! And, of course, the asking prices for housing won’t go up, will they?
    “S.F. increases down-payment loans to 1st-time home buyers”
    […]
    “San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wants to help you buy your first home.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..323078.php

    Pretty sure RE agents are smiling this morning; 6% of $200K will mean some very nice dinners in fine dining establishments!

    1. Pretty sure RE agents are smiling this morning; 6% of $200K will mean some very nice dinners in fine dining establishments!

      because all the food trucks have been chased away by the political mafia.

  3. the socons have their culture war, the progs have the class war. Income inequality is only a “problem” if you believe govt has a solution.

  4. Ronald Bailey Says Obama Is Wrong About [you name it]

    I can’t remember the last time he opened his mouth and didn’t spout off fallacies to support thoroughly immoral policies. And when he does make no-brainer arguments, like “Government should respect people’s rights” he backs it up with hypocrisy. Barack Obama; the worst kind of human being.

    1. You missed the Bushpigs then. Did you just learn to read?

      1. Palin’s Buttplug|3.17.14 @ 10:37AM|#
        “You missed the rest of the Ds then.”

        Fixed, shitpile

      2. Havn’t you gotten the point yet?

        Obama is Bush, there is virtually no difference between them esxcept in that Bush can at least claim ignorance about the reality of his policies, Obama cannot since he spent several years in congress actively opposing them.

        1. Obama and the media also worked hard to convince us all that Obama is the smartest guy in the room. A real intellectual.

  5. What factors retard upward income mobility? Among other things, being located in the southeastern United States

    Why is the Southeast such a pisshole?

    We have all these GOP Guvnors and the most population growth – everything should be hunky-dory.

    1. I assumed it was because people as ignorant as you have the same political clout as people who know how to think.

      1. Why is the Southeast such a pisshole?

        Is it a difficult question?

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|3.17.14 @ 10:38AM|#
          “Why is the Southeast such a pisshole?”

          You haven’t been gone long enough; it still stinks too badly for decent people to go there.
          What area of the country are you polluting now?

        2. The middle class/upper middle class is equivalent to other parts of the country. I live in Huntsville, Al with demographics similar to San Jose/Mountain View. The problem right now is the large class of ahem “democrats” still firmly on the Progressive Plantation. As manufacturing lead by the auto industry continues to flow South the rest of the population will move upward. Though as long as the Progs continue to fund generational (with full knowledge that they are doing that very thing) then poverty its gonna be hard to change.

          1. * fund generational poverty

          2. The middle and upper classes are like middle and upper classes? Stunning insight there.

            It’s terribly inconvenient for libertarians, but go anywhere in the world and you will find that bigger government (as you define it) means less poverty, and less government (as you define it) means more poverty.

            People aren’t as universally stupid and corrupt as you need them to be. In the last 100 years we really have figured out ways to alleviate poverty, and on a vast scale. And none of it has to do with laissez-faire bullshit.

            1. Sure. That’s why the worst hell-holes in the nation are Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, SF, Baltimore, Milwaukee, etc that have been Donkey strongholds for generations. Big government sure cured their ills!

              1. Shh, Tony is spouting off fucktardedness again. It’s best to just walk away until he drowns in it.

              2. New York and San Francisco are among the country’s hellholes?

                1. Re: Tony,

                  New York and San Francisco are among the country’s hellholes?

                  Not since rich bankers, union leaders and politicians drove the poor towards Newark and Oakland.

            2. Yes, the cure for poverty is more political coercion in economic decision-making. That’s why Gengis Khan ended poverty many moons ago. It is known.

              1. I hear the unemployment rate in Kiev after the Mongols……annexed it was quite low.

                1. True, the unemployment rate in Kiev after the Mongols……annexed it was quite low.

            3. The Economic Freedom Index doesn’t support that claim.

              http://www.heritage.org/index/explore

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I…..ic_Freedom

              Off the bat, Argentina and Venezuela are very appropriate counterexamples.

              1. How is the Heritage Foundation’s index of what it defines as economic freedom relevant?

                1. Re: Tony,

                  How is the Heritage Foundation’s index of what it defines as economic freedom relevant?

                  Relevant from the standpoint of what?

                2. He could have used the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index or the Fraser Foundation’s Economic Freedom of the World project to make the same point but avoid your idiotic partisan nitpicking.

                3. You made the claim that smaller government means more poverty and that bigger government means less poverty. The Heritage Foundation gives scores to countries based on their economic freedom, which is based on the size and influence of their governments. The countries that have more economic freedom are generally wealthier, and the countries that have less economic freedom are generally poorer. It is a counterexample to your claim.

                  Now, if you have reasons to not accept the index, you can certainly make them known. No ad hominems, please.

            4. The war on poverty has enslaved more in generational poverty than existed prior. Literacy is down, etc.

            5. Big government means less poverty? Clearly you have never been to India

            6. Tony is this you on another site ?

              Tony ? 11 minutes ago
              If free speech leads to global catastrophe, then it’s worth it to limit free speech.
              The denier propaganda industry is a clear and present danger to global human security because it gets in the way of necessary policy action.

              All this is true.

              Of course I don’t believe in jailing people for speech. But let’s not destroy the world too, shall we?

            7. Damn the Southern city of Detroit for its small government.

              Fucking moron.

        3. You conveniently forget that the south was ruled by democrats until the mid-to-late 1980s. Since then the south has gained lots of industry and its economic prospects have increased.

          1. Were they liberal Democrats?

            1. Yes, they were racist progressive liberals, is there any other kind ?

              1. No, they were racist southern rednecks, same as they have always been.

    2. Re: Peter Caca,

      Why is the Southeast such a pisshole?

      Racist!

  6. I agree, 5 guys is a tasty burger.

  7. The real defining economic challenge of our time isn’t to end inequality…

    …it’s to use that issue to rile up the masses. – DNC

    1. Exactly. This whole article was useless in that everyone including Obama already understands the “problem” with income equality. It’s a non-issue that the dems use to divide the electorate and garner votes.

  8. I blame BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    1. Shriek beat ya to it, sorry.

  9. All you need to point out whenever anybody brings up inequality (and the implicit message of taxing the rich more to spend more on anti-poverty programs) is this:

    The government at all levels (local, state, federal) spends well over $900 billion per year in anti-poverty programs, say $920 billion (NOT including Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment benefits). If you divided that spending over the poorest 25% of the U.S. population (77.5 million of 310 million), that would come out to spending nearly $12,000 per person per year. For a family of four in the bottom 25%, that would be annual government spending on anti-poverty programs of around $47,000 per year.

    The government already spends a shit-ton on anti-poverty programs.

    1. 900 billion dollars… Ridiculous… Only true if you think public schooling is an anti-poverty program. Pray tell me… What hack right-wing site do you get your numbers from?

      1. Okay so public schools aren’t anti-poverty. So then why not abandon public schools for the voluntarily funded schools, pray tell?

      2. Re: american stolid,

        900 billion dollars… Ridiculous… Only true if you think public schooling is an anti-poverty program.

        Why only him? The Obama administration seems to think so:

        “Empowering every child with the skills they need by increasing enrollment in high quality pre-K programs; installing a STEM focus in the local school district; expanding enrollment in Early College Programs; and improving adult education opportunities.”

      3. The stated purpose to public schooling is to guarantee everyone can get an education, even those who would be too poor to afford one. You could argue that this wouldn’t happen in a free market in education, but the point is, statists do consider education spending as a sort of anti-poverty program.

    2. Before you factor in anti-poverty programs (that is, pre-tax, pre-transfer), the US is about in the middle of the 26 wealthiest countries in terms of poverty. “Post-tax, post-transfer” (after social spending is taken into account), the US is second to last of those countries in terms of poverty.

      All countries have populations that start out in poverty. The only reason some countries have less poverty than others is because they spend more on antipoverty programs. I realize this is too much like simple arithmetic to make sense to a libertarian.

      Also your Heritage Foundation numbers are, of course, bullshit.

      1. Re: Tony,

        Before you factor in anti-poverty programs (that is, pre-tax, pre-transfer), the US is about in the middle of the 26 wealthiest countries in terms of poverty.

        In terms of whose poverty? Because “poverty levels” have been convenient goal posts the politicians move around to justify their largess. The “poor” in America live like kings of old compared to the poor in, say, Venezuela.

      2. That figure is from the Cato Institute. If you think it’s bullshit, you have to point out why without appealing to a logical fallacy.

        I don’t know what you were trying to say in your post. My point is the U.S. government at all levels spends a ton on anti-poverty programs. Given that, I fail to see how spending more on anti-poverty programs would help.

        http://www.cato.org/publicatio…..overty-won

        http://www.cato.org/sites/cato…../PA694.pdf

      3. I realize this is too much like simple arithmetic to make sense to a libertarian.

        The economy is not an arithmetic problem.

        poverty … poverty … poverty … poverty

        Find someone in the United States who is unable to obtain food, clean water, or shelter.

        1. Find someone in the United States who is unable to obtain food, clean water, or shelter.

          I simply do not understand this. You mean all those things antipoverty programs provide so that people do not go without them?

          My point is just that the US does worse than other countries at alleviating poverty, and the variable is how much is spent to alleviate poverty. Not complicated.

          Now you find ME that country that spends nothing on antipoverty programs that is abundant in wealth and prosperity. Preferably on this plane of existence.

          1. Re: Tony,

            My point is just that the US does worse than other countries at alleviating poverty

            Like, which countries, Tony? The Scandinavian countries, perhaps? Where the tax burden is so enormous people live in tiny apartments? Poor working people in Mexico live BETTER than some of the middle class in Denmark – Mexican workers have cars, TVs, air conditioning, appliances and more and cheaper access to healthcare.

          2. Tony, let me get this straight. Do you think the government should spend more than $40,000 per year on a family of four on anti-poverty programs plus Social Security/unemployment benefits? Or do you think the spending should be done differently? Or both, or something else?

          3. You mean all those things antipoverty programs provide so that people do not go without them?

            How are Venezuela’s anti-poverty programs working out?

            Wealth provides these things. These programs suppress the natural incentives to create wealth.

            My point is just that the US does worse than other countries at alleviating poverty

            Poverty is alleviated. There is no better or worse, either people are dying of dehydration, starvation, or exposure, or they are not.

            Now you find ME that country that spends nothing on antipoverty programs that is abundant in wealth and prosperity.

            Causation flows the other direction.

            And, as always, you ignore the most important point: the economy is not an arithmetic problem.

          4. Again, Tony with his progtardedness.

            Always looking to Europe where they’re barely keeping things together. What is it with North American progs and their bull shit fascination with Europe and even China?

            Europe sweeps its rug under the table better than North America. It’s all they do, Tony. Overall, the quality of life is better here.

          5. Tony:

            Now you find ME that country that spends nothing on antipoverty programs that is abundant in wealth and prosperity. Preferably on this plane of existence.

            I can’t find a country that is abundant in wealth and prosperity without organized crime in this plane of existence.

            This implies that organized crime is necessary for wealth and prosperity.

      4. Re: Tony,

        The only reason some countries have less poverty than others is because they spend more on antipoverty programs.

        That doesn’t make sense at all. Countries were money is spend in “anti-poverty” programs already have enough saved up capital from previous production to stop being poor, so in essence, those programs are irrelevant at best.

        You can’t talk about spending without producing first. Those countries that lifted themselves out of poverty since the 19th Century did so because of increasing production and increased accumulation of savings, not because government conjured up goods and services as if by magic.

        You’re an incredibly ignorant person, Tony. You continuously spew the claptrap that your feminine studies teacher told you in college without even a modicum of critical thought. Or maybe it was your crochet teacher – God knows what happens at colleges these days.

        1. No doubt a country has to be rich enough first before it can spend money on social welfare programs. But it isn’t exactly just free market capitalism that makes a country rich. A good helping of free enterprise is no doubt part of it, but the fact is there is not a single place on earth with as little government as you want that that is anything other than a total shithole, let alone wealthy.

          And that’s the point. I don’t support more social spending out of ideology, but because that’s what seems to work to achieve the ends we’re talking about. If the evidence didn’t support my beliefs, I wouldn’t have them. I realize you feel no such restrictions are necessary for your worldview.

          1. the fact is there is not a single place on earth with as little government as you want that that is anything other than a total shithole, let alone wealthy.

            Every such place is a failed socialist state. They were not founded to provide their citizens with freedom and then arrived at inauspicious outcomes, they were founded to provide their citizens with equality of outcome and then arrived at the only truly equal outcome.

            The simple correlation that more government is better is facilely disproved by North Korea. So obviously there are factors other than the size of the government that play a role in the outcomes.

            1. A big government is necessary but not sufficient to produce good social outcomes. As I said, a free enterprise system is helpful, and I would add democratic governance.

              1. http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..and_worst/

                I’m just going to leave that there, Tony. See if you can spot any commonalities between the top five and the bottom five. Any at all.

              2. While it lasts, a big government serves to assuage the guilt of the productive people and to suppress the violent instinct of the nonproductive people by inefficiently transferring wealth from the former to the latter.

                The problem is that it stupefies the people and thus increases the number of nonproductive people. When production eventually fails to keep up with the rapacious demands of the entitled masses, violence ensues.

                This is not at all desirable, yet here you are arguing for its necessity.

              3. Re: Tony,

                A big government is necessary but not sufficient to produce good social outcomes.

                What is a “good social outcome”?

              4. Then what do you say about Venezuela and Argentina, Tony?

                1. Then what do you say about Venezuela and Argentina, Tony?

                  While I am loathe to defend a serial employer of fallacies in logic and argumentation, if his claim is that it’s necessary but not sufficient then countries with big governments but bad outcomes would not disprove the claim.

                  However, if big government was merely a necessary condition, then that would only serve as an argument against reducing the size of government, it would not serve as justification for particular expenditures. In order to defend a particular type of spending, one would additionally have to establish what conditions were sufficient.

                  Nevertheless, it is not actually a necessary condition, as countries like Singapore and Hong Kong do well with government spending less than 20% of GDP whereas the governments of the United States and most European countries spend more than 40% of GDP.

              5. The government WORSENS outcomes.

          2. If the evidence didn’t support my beliefs, I wouldn’t have them.

            You are trapped in the correlation game. Wealthy nations can afford to spend more on social programs because they have wealth. This social spending may serve some valid end, but it does not have to come from the government.

            Even so, there is no reason why all of this social spending has to be done at the highest level of government. If it’s so important, why it must be done in the way that is least representative of the people it is supposed to support?

            1. Holy shit, it actually said the evidence supports its beliefs?

              That would be awesomely hilarious…if it wasn’t so sad.

          3. Re: Tony,

            But it isn’t exactly just free market capitalism that makes a country rich.

            Yes it is. It is the ONLY thing that makes people rich. Where do you think your house, your car, your computer comes from?

            but the fact is there is not a single place on earth with as little government as you want that that is anything other than a total shithole, let alone wealthy.

            You’re crazy, Tony. There are plenty of places – just look at Canada, where the government imposes much LESS burden than the US yet it came out of the 2008 recession much quicker with a much better economic outlook. Even if Canada spends on anti-poverty programs, the fact that it spends much less per GDP than the US does NOT make Canada more of a “shithole” like you allege. In fact, it contradicts your argument.

            1. It is the ONLY thing that makes people rich.

              Stealing productive land from its native inhabitants doesn’t hurt either. Find me a rich country without a government far bigger than you want to tolerate. Just point one out.

              Canada really, really doesn’t count.

              1. Re: Tony,

                Stealing productive land from its native inhabitants doesn’t hurt either.

                What does that have to do with free-market capitalism?

                Is that how you were taught to argue in feminine social studies, Tony (or maybe crochet)? By throwing red herrings?

                Canada really, really doesn’t count.

                Unsubstantiated assertions are that – unsubstantiated. I am not going to dismiss the example of Canada only because it ruins your style.

              2. Norway stole it’s state owned oil company from it’s previous owners.

                Yet you use it as a shinning beacon to justify your position.

              3. Tony do you realize how smug and retarded you sound? You always claim to care yet you dismiss an entire country’s economic record because it doesn’t fit your ignorant position.

                I really don’t know who is worse between you and Palin.

                1. I’m not dismissing Canada, I’m dismissing it as an example of OM’s preferred style of governing. There’s a ton of polices I’d import from Canada. Unless perhaps OM has found a way to reconcile national socialist healthcare with anarcho-capitalism?

                  1. Canada scored higher than the United States on overall economic freedom in the Heritage index.

      5. The only reason some countries have less poverty than others is because they spend more on antipoverty programs. I realize this is too much like simple arithmetic to make sense to a libertarian.

        The ONLY reason some countries have less poverty is because of welfare programs? I’m sorry, I didn’t know that government programs, financed by coercion actually created wealth. Here I thought quality of life was improved by markets and commerce. Turns out, we just need to have more bureaucrats taking more money from more people and poverty will be cured in no time at all. I’m not normally one to ad Hominem, but for you Tony I will make an exception. You are fucking stupid. They don’t come any dumber than you. I mean you’re either a complete liar about what you believe or you have absolutely no ability to think. The last thing the world needs, is people like you.

    3. cato… got it. no need to respond. i know where you’re coming from. now that i know that you think that programs that reduce poor people’s taxes are “expenditures” can i bring up the trillions of dollars that are given away in the form of tax breaks to corporations?

      1. Herp derp depreciation is a right wing plot.

      2. Re: american stolid,

        now that i know that you think that programs that reduce poor people’s taxes are “expenditures”

        Reducing people’s taxes means not taxing them. So-called anti-poverty programs are not the same as tax credits or a reduction in the tax burden. For one, you would have to be producing in order to be taxed. If the government wanted to reduce the tax burden on poor working people, it would have done so a long time ago.

      3. EITC payments can and frequently do exceed the filer’s tax liability, and so qualify as transfer payments rather than tax reductions. Even so, EITC accounts for less than $50 billion of Cato’s number.

      4. Guys, american socialist is a complete troll. He is making stuff up. The figure does not include tax breaks. It is spending on means-tested programs. Stop feeding him.

        1. I’m assuming that this white paper is the source of the original number, and if so it does include EITC. As I pointed out however, EITC pays out (significantly) more than the tax liabilities of the filers who qualify. If it simply eliminated the tax burden, then american socialist might have a point, but it does not, and anyway accounts for a small portion of the total spending.

          1. It also specifically only counts the “refundable portion”, ie the ammount which is above the taxburden but still refundable. In otherwords he’s lying outright

            1. Indeed! For reference, here is the information straight from the horse’s mouth.

              Even so, 91% of the $59.6 million in EITC dollars claimed in 2010 were refundable, i.e. direct transfer payments as opposed to tax offsets.

          2. including withholding taxes???? i don’t think so genius

            1. The people who qualify for EITC also see significant reductions, if not outright elimination, of their tax liability from the standard and personal deductions.

              If you made $20k in 2012 with a family of 4, married filing jointly, you would owe no tax then on top of that would receive $4k in EITC. Fill out a 1040EZ for yourself and see.

      5. american socialist|3.17.14 @ 11:47AM|#
        “cato… got it. no need to respond.”

        Yep, darn facts are always the bain of lefty brain-deads.

      6. poor people don’t pay taxes in the US.

      7. “cato… got it. no need to respond”

        I suppose you’ll be happy to provide us with a better unbiased source?

    4. Well, only about 20% of that anti-poverty money actually makes it’s way to the poor. The rest gets soaked up in bureaucracy. So that’s about $9,400 per family of 4. But that means $736 billion is taken from the people who earned the money and given to govt officials in the name of welfare.

  10. And geez I thought it was time for a “libertarianism in one country” article from Ronald Bailey. Doesn’t libertarianism require foreign intervention everywhere democracy and, in this case, Ukrainian territorial integrity is threatened?

    Is this you, Ronald http://blogs.citypages.com/blo…..obama.php. Sounds like it?

    1. Is that sarcasm? Libertarianism requires a large political kill machine and majoritarian justice?

      1. Free Society|3.17.14 @ 11:27AM|#
        “Is that sarcasm? Libertarianism requires a large political kill machine and majoritarian justice?”

        No, it isn’t. This particular ignoramus is even more uninformed about what libertarians favor than the normal brain-dead lefty.
        He believes, for example, that l’tarians are in favor of forcing people to eat GMO foods.
        Suffice to say, there are really dumb lefties and then this guy lowers the bar farther.

        1. One questions how these retards are even able to breathe. Let alone want cake.

        2. Arguing these people is almost as taxing as the policies they support. I think it may be impossible to crack the shell of logical fallacies and outright lies that these people have wrapped themselves in. Mere words cannot express the frustration I feel when I see the Tony’s of the world spout off things that are so undeniably false and there is no way to make them see the falsehood.

          1. …”the shell of logical fallacies and outright lies that these people have wrapped themselves in”…

            For your amusement, a.s.’s lies, misdirection and innuendo from the GMO thread:
            “1. Unless there is absolute scientific certainty on the issue, Legislation on any kind of Food safety laws, particularly when they affect big agribusiness, is tyranny. When I’m dry heaving in the toilet after injesting fecal coliform present in my Monsanto burger, I should consult my Ayn Rand capitalist theory manual on the “takers” in the Food And Drug Administration
            2. The rights of big agribusiness are indistinguishable from the rights of an individual
            3. electing people who don’t share your opinion and having them legislate is like slavery
            4. Losing an election and having a legislator enact a law you don’t like means that 1. ??? And then 2. “51% can steal from 49%”
            5. As libertarians we should advocate for the rule of law on issues where we agree with the law, but then advocate against the rule of law when we disagree with the law
            6. Norman Thomas and Eugene debs killed 100 million people
            7. Libertarians are particularly foul-mouthed.”

            A particularly loathsome asshole.

            1. maybe you just don’t like having your arguments read back to you? in response to your post above, where exactly did i say that libertarians want to force people to eat gmos? read closely and you will find arguments for1. apathy and 2. for ambivalence based upon competing democratic interests.

              1. Well, “lies, misdirection and innuendo” are certainly present in that post. But I would add “strawman” in big bold letters to describe that series of disingenuous points.

              2. american socialist|3.17.14 @ 2:13PM|#
                “maybe you just don’t like having your arguments read back to you?”

                You’re a lying piece of shit, alright. I made exactly ZERO of any of those.

                1. see #7. that’s you.

                  1. american socialist|3.17.14 @ 10:04PM|#
                    “see #7. that’s you.”

                    Yes, you slimy piece of shit, I get real nasty around people who defend murderers.
                    Get fucked with the wrong end of a pitchfork.

                    1. is it time for one of your 100 million and counting posts?

    2. Re: american socialist,

      Doesn’t libertarianism require foreign intervention everywhere democracy and, in this case, Ukrainian territorial integrity is threatened?

      No.

      Next question? You, the one with the funny hat? Yeah, you.

  11. I’ll give an example of how less government can reduce poverty.

    Joe is poor. Duncan Donuts owner is rich.

    Joe’s mom taught him to make really good donuts. Joe makes some and sets up a table in his front yard. Folks on the way to Dunkin Donuts give them a try. Better than DD. Word spreads. Joe’s not poor anymore. DD owner is less rich.

    Add Government.

    Joe gets shut down for not having an approved, inspected kitchen. Business license. Health inspector’s “O (fill my pocket) K”.

    Joe is still poor. DD owner is still rich.

    1. Re: Will4Freedom,
      That’s a good description of what is called “regulation capture” and “crony capitalism”.

      Established businesses are more often than not unfriendly towards the free market, and will engage, according to their self-interest, in lobbying the government for special consideration, including licensing rules, regulations and tax exemptions.

      The idea that MORE government helps people becoming less poor is not supported by economic theory, logic and historical reality. People who think otherwise do so because of ideology and not reason.

      1. Yeah. I remember seeing the O.W.S. crowd wailing about the rich 1% bankers. But they were blind to the hand of government that helped them.

        I asked a supporter, why don’t the OWS folks start their own bank and suck all those evil profits away from the big banks. They could even pay everyone the same fair, but not obscene salary. $60K all around?

        Never got an answer from them.

  12. dear ronald bailey, what does the trend line for unemployment in the obama administration look like again? is the 1st derivative positive or negative? can someone post those labor force statistics again? i want to see those and ponder as hard as i can on why labor participation rates are going down? i credit the improvement in the economy to the Booooosch administration.

    1. You need to find a point, then make it.

    2. american socialist|3.17.14 @ 2:18PM|#
      “dear ronald bailey,”…

      Dear asshsole, do your own damn research.

  13. Wow, crack cork, fony and hugo on the same thread…too fucking derptastic to be true.

  14. What I wish had been mentioned is that Obama’s (illiterate) economic views (and those of the Democratic Party as a whole) are very much zero sum in nature. As such, if somebody is rich, then Obama interprets that it must have come at the expense of some other poor soul. So how do you fix this “inequality”? Simple, you take money away from the rich person, and give it to the poor soul. In a zero sum economic view, that makes sense.

    However, the economy is not zero sum, and the redistributive process is corrosive and extremely damaging to the economy. It hurts everyone, especially the intended beneficiary.

    Zero sum economics is one of the oldest economic fallacies. Its durability and appeal to leftists is quite peculiar, in my mind. I suppose it shouldn’t be, given their other fallacy-laden economic views (division of labor, price controls, minimum wage, unionization, the effects of inflation, pretense of knowledge by central planners, etc.)

  15. Really? During the same period Paper boy’s salaries went from 5 to 50 dollars an increase of 1000% making them the richest of all. This article is misleading at best, taking unequal amounts and then converting them to a percentage is more neo-liberal smoke and mirrors.

    1. Do you have a point there, sparky?

      1. Pretty obvious, by comparing upper and lower class wages on a percentage basis instead of dollar amounts, the author implies fairness. upper class wages went from 10 million to 15 million or up 50% while lower class wages went from 20,000 to 30,000 up 50%, even steven right?

        1. Actually, yes.

        2. Explain why your way of measuring is better. Please try to use logic and avoid ad homs and superficial talking points.

          I have a feeling your argument is no better than “the percentage measure lets those greedy rich off the hook!”

        3. That is textbook inflation, so again what is the point you are getting at?

          1. That’s right and when feeling the effects of inflation a millionaire might pass on that 3rd vacation home while the low paid worker might pass on dinner.

            1. First you were talking about incomes, now you’re talking about prices.

              Do you have any evidence that prices have increased out of pace with incomes?

  16. That’s also not even taking inflation into account where on a dollar adjusted basis the lower paid worker is actually making less than he used to, explaining why over the same period many wives also went to work to maintain the same living standard while the dollar dropped in real value.

    1. What period? What was the standard of living at the start of the period, and what was the standard of living at the end of the period?

  17. 1979 to 2010, based on some of these comments I wonder if you guys read the article.

    1. Compare the following from 1979 to 2010:

      How many people had:
      – Cell phones
      – Computers with Internet access
      – HD color televisions
      – Video game systems

      How many cars had:
      – Crumple zones
      – Airbags
      – Seatbelts

      How many houses had:
      – Dishwashers
      – Laundry equipment
      – Circuit breakers and grounded outlets
      – Central air and heating

      How likely was the average person to survive:
      – A car crash
      – A heart attack
      – Cancer
      – HIV/AIDS

      Also:
      – What was the average size of a house?
      – How many cars did the average family own?
      – How many people went to and graduated from college?
      – What was the commercial aviation fatality rate per mile flown?

      1. I question whether wages have kept up with productivity gains from 1979 to 2010. Also if the average working week has increased over this period.

        1. Assuming the placement of your comment is not intentional misdirection, productivity gains inherently devalue and eliminate jobs.

          The real question is why aren’t the people whose jobs have been displaced by gains in productivity engaging in trade and business of other forms?

          Regulation, taxation, and welfare are the trifecta of economic stagnation.

          1. “Assuming the placement of your comment is not intentional misdirection”

            How generous of you!

            What incentives are there for increasing work productivity? (Besides higher profits for those in a position to benefit from this.) You seem to be implying that increasing productivity not only doesn’t lead to commensurate increases in wages, it also leads to unemployment.

            It also appears that since 1979, the average American worker is working a full week more in 2010. And with American women, the number of hours worked has increased much more than that.

            1. “What incentives are there for increasing work productivity? (Besides higher profits for those in a position to benefit from this.)”

              Ya know, when you answer your own question with a pejorative, it sort of makes you look like and idjit.
              ————————–
              “It also appears that since 1979, the average American worker is working a full week more in 2010. And with American women, the number of hours worked has increased much more than that.”

              So we need inflation? Interesting solution.

              1. “Ya know, when you answer your own question with a pejorative, it sort of makes you look like and idjit.”

                And I don’t care how I look. You haven’t picked up on that by now?

                “So we need inflation?”

                Inflation is what I’m talking about. What do the words “the number of hours worked has increased” mean to you?

                1. mtrueman|3.18.14 @ 12:25AM|#
                  “And I don’t care how I look. You haven’t picked up on that by now?”

                  Well, that’s good, since you look as if your brain leaked out sometime in the past.
                  ———————-
                  “Inflation is what I’m talking about. What do the words “the number of hours worked has increased” mean to you?”

                  No, inflation is what you’re confused about, but since you agree your brain leaked out, there’s no reason to show you why.
                  Do you save up stupid to come post here?

            2. How generous of you!

              You can always start a new thread instead of diverting an existing one.

              What incentives are there for increasing work productivity?

              Working less?

              Besides higher profits for those in a position to benefit from this

              What do people do with profits if not spend them?

              You seem to be implying that increasing productivity not only doesn’t lead to commensurate increases in wages, it also leads to unemployment.

              I didn’t just imply it, I outright said it. But that underpaid or displaced worker can do other things, too. That fat cat boss is going to need his lawn mowed, his dog walked, and his sportscar waxed, after all.

              Less facetiously, it is the government that stands in the way of people making their own living. It protects incumbents, it stifles competition, it imposes unreasonable burdens, and it encourages people to be unproductive.

              It also appears that since 1979, the average American worker is working a full week more in 2010.

              And what is he getting in return? That is the whole point of this thread you diverted: the standard of living today is much higher than the standard of living thirty years ago.

              1. Apologies for diverting an existing thread. I sincerely had no intention of stepping on anyone’s toes.

                “What incentives are there for increasing work productivity?

                Working less?”

                You’re not reading what I wrote. If you had, you would have understood that ‘the average worker’ is working more, not less. Those without jobs aren’t working at all.

                “Besides higher profits for those in a position to benefit from this

                What do people do with profits if not spend them?”

                Sure they spend some, but the bulk of the profits must go into investment. Ask any capitalist.

                I really don’t get it when you write this: “it encourages people to be unproductive.” Meaning the government, of course. But it is private business that rewards productivity increases in their work force with unemployment and a longer work week. If private business want to encourage its workforce to ever greater heights of productivity, it might want to reconsider the incentives it’s offering.

                The whole thread is a little silly, you have to admit. To think there is such a thing as ‘standard of living’ and that it is somehow enhanced by the introduction of new gadgets to the market, is to fall victim to the cockamanie notion of an economist.

                1. “The whole thread is a little silly, you have to admit. To think there is such a thing as ‘standard of living’ and that it is somehow enhanced by the introduction of new gadgets to the market, is to fall victim to the cockamanie notion of an economist.”

                  No, actually, you’re a little stupid. Or a lot.
                  Haven’t noticed how, oh, airplanes have improved the lives of millions?
                  Please go eat rocks and lichen and tell us how romantic it is.

                  1. “airplanes have improved the lives of millions?”

                    Sure, life was hell back in 1979 before we had airplanes.

                2. You’re not reading what I wrote. If you had, you would have understood that ‘the average worker’ is working more, not less. Those without jobs aren’t working at all.

                  False. The average worker is putting in more hours but doing less work. Also, there’s this thing called the shadow economy. The legal economy disfavors people who don’t look good on paper because the government has made it punitively expensive to take risks when hiring and firing people.

                  Sure they spend some, but the bulk of the profits must go into investment. Ask any capitalist.

                  Investment is a form of spending. Are you one of those idiots who think rich people magically get better-than-inflation returns on all their investments year over year? What is investment if not a key driver of the economy?

                  But it is private business that rewards productivity increases in their work force with unemployment and a longer work week.

                  Once you can make something for a tenth the cost as before, why would anyone continue to pay ten times more than necessary for it?

                  If private business want to encourage its workforce to ever greater heights of productivity, it might want to reconsider the incentives it’s offering.

                  So private business should ignore innovation? I guess then they’re supposed to funnel money to the government to stop other people from competing with them, too?

                  Then when crippling inflation and debt kick in, we can blame it on the bankers!

                  1. “So private business should ignore innovation? I guess then they’re supposed to funnel money to the government to stop other people from competing with them, too?”

                    Often private business does ignore innovation. It is an extremely expensive and risky thing to engage in. That post 1979 touch screen interface that makes you feel so wealthy, it came about because of government funding and research.

                    Still can’t figure out how you come to the conclusion that putting in more hours, or a place in the unemployment rolls makes me a wealthier man.

                    1. That post 1979 touch screen interface that makes you feel so wealthy

                      It is but one small form of greater wealth than was had before, it is not some totemic symbol of capitalism.

                      it came about because of government funding and research

                      You mean taxpayer-funded research. And yes, any research a company does is investor- or customer-funded research, so don’t think you’ve got some tu quoque argument going on there.

                      The two pertinent questions are: did I have a choice in paying for it, and how well was my money managed?

                      And the answers in the government case are that I did not have a choice, and I had to pay for a hell of a lot of unrelated shit, including a lot of bureaucratic overhead, to get that “government funded” research.

                    2. Still can’t figure out how you come to the conclusion that putting in more hours, or a place in the unemployment rolls makes me a wealthier man.

                      Clocking hours is not the same as doing work. It’s not even strongly correlated, since I’m sure you can think of people at your jobs, past and present, who subtracted value by their mere presence in the workplace.

                      Finding yourself unemployed is not a permanent condition. The economy is dynamic, a fact even the Soviets could not deny, and expecting permanence in anything that exists in this world except the laws of nature is absurd.

                      Pick yourself up, find a new way to pay the bills, and move on. You are not so much more important than everyone else that we should all be forced to keep you in comfort.

                3. To think there is such a thing as ‘standard of living’ and that it is somehow enhanced by the introduction of new gadgets to the market, is to fall victim to the cockamanie notion of an economist.

                  I shall ask you the same question I asked Tony:

                  If wealth is so unimportant to you, why do you covet it so much?

                  1. “If wealth is so unimportant to you,”

                    It is important. I just don’t see how longer working hours and chronic unemployment mean greater wealth.

                    “why do you covet it so much?”

                    I find that wealth gives one greater control over life. You like the gadgets, that much I understand.

                    1. It is important. I just don’t see how longer working hours and chronic unemployment mean greater wealth.

                      Well then why don’t you ask the people who believe that longer working hours and chronic unemployment are desirable traits for the economy?

                      You can start with the Attorney General, the Secretaries of Commerce, the Treasury, Labor, and Energy, to name a few, then cross over to the judicial side and ask the judges who have ruled that good feelings are more important than economic realities.

                      Some questions I might suggest to ask:
                      – Why do they inflate the currency, devaluing savings and encouraging spending?
                      – Why do they make it very difficult to hire and fire employees?
                      – Why do they restrict the levels at which wages and prices can be set?
                      – Why do they forbid entire industries and groups of people from participating in the economy?
                      – Why do they feel it’s better to pay people to do nothing than to have them working?
                      – Why do they work for their own interests and those of established players instead of the framework of natural rights they swore oaths to uphold?
                      – Why do they consume far more than they’re worth and then use the threat of violence to make us all pay for it?

                      Let me know when you get some answers, because I’m dying to know myself.

                      I find that wealth gives one greater control over life.

                      Then why did you refute that notion by saying that standard of living is a fiction?

      2. Therefore it’s OK if nearly all the economic growth of the country goes to the wealthiest few?

        Work harder, make plutocrats richer–ahh freedom.

        1. If wealth is so worthless to you, then why do you covet it so much?

        2. Tony|3.17.14 @ 7:03PM|#
          “Therefore it’s OK if nearly all the economic growth of the country goes to the wealthiest few?”

          Do you EVER address one of the actual arguments instead of your fantasies?

        3. As opposed to working harder so that the government can take my earnings by threat of force and redistribute to those too lazy to work?

          How is that any better?

      3. add these to your questions….

        How many households covered all of their bills with a single income?

        (also, 3 of your first 4 items didn’t exist in 1979, so I do not know what that comparison means)

        How much total yearly debt did the average family carry? Debt in percentage to income?

        How many hours per week did the average full-time employee work? How many weekends and evenings did they work?
        What percentage of households had two or more persons working full-time?

        In real dollars, how does the cost of a college education compare?

        What was the average mortgage to income ratio?

        After all basic needs were met, what percentage of expendable income is left?

        What percentage of non-college graduates were employed in a labor, factory, or trade position which provided a significant livelihood?

        1. And increased inflation addresses which of these?

  18. In 1979 the Knack topped the charts with My Sharona
    In 2010 Lady Gaga was in a Bad Romance
    Nuff Said

    1. Dan The Man, please meet american socialist.
      I’m sure you guys have a lot in common.

  19. “The real defining economic challenge of our time isn’t to end inequality. It’s persistent joblessness and weak economic growth”

    It seems to me that addressing the real defining economic challenge of our time will involve lessening income inequality. With chronic joblessness and no growth, it’s only a matter of time before more equable policies, like a social wage or universal dole, are introduced.

    1. “It seems to me that addressing the real defining economic challenge of our time will involve lessening income inequality. With chronic joblessness and no growth, it’s only a matter of time before more equable policies, like a social wage or universal dole, are introduced.”

      So you see this as a matter of extortion?
      Great! I’m sure everyone will love being equally poor.

      1. Be a real shame if something were to happen to that business of yours…

      2. “So you see this as a matter of extortion?”

        No I don’t see it this way. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with extortion. It’s the way to get control over the seats of power. What could be simpler than ‘buying’ them? For those seeking radical change in society, something else is needed. My recipe? Mass movements seasoned with light to moderate rioting.

        “Great! I’m sure everyone will love being equally poor.”

        The human heart is a fickle thing, but I’m sure that everyone would prefer to be equally poor over being unequally poor. Not that this proves much…

        1. …”Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with extortion.”…
          No, nothing wrong with that. I guess armed robbery is OK with you?

          …”but I’m sure that everyone would prefer to be equally poor over being unequally poor. Not that this proves much…”
          Well, it proves you’re a bit less than ‘all there’.
          My goodness. At least you’re honest in your admission of ignorance.

        2. So, let’s be clear.

          1. Extortion is acceptable? Check.
          2. Violence is desirable? Check.
          3. Equality trumps opportunity? Check.

          Son, we have a name for your philosophy, it’s called communism.

          1. “it’s called communism.”

            Call it whatever you like. It’s operating in every country in the world today. Corruption of officials, violence and threats of violence, lip service to equality and democracy. These are pretty well to be found everywhere today. Your naming it communism doesn’t really get us any further.

            1. That bad things exist does not excuse your desire to inflict bad things on others.

  20. This article attempts to justify things by spinning many numbers. I tend to look at real-life situations, though. I think my old neighborhood reflects the current status vs. the past. When I grew up there, 85% of the households were one income households. The income was enough to cover all basic necessities: mortgage, car, food, clothing, insurance, and medical. There was enough left over for occasional dinners out, some entertainment (movies, bowling, etc.), some household luxuries, and a summer vacation. Now, in that same neighborhood, 90% of the households are two income households, with one or both working 50+ hours per week and/or multiple jobs. In a significant percentage of cases, the income is no longer meeting the basic necessities as listed above. There is no money leftover, and many families go seriously into debt because they can’t make ends meet or provide any extras for their families.
    In the 90’s, I briefly worked at a branch office of a large company. I happened upon a document which was the new pay scale for the upcoming year. The company had 21 job levels, from entry at one to CEO at 22. That particular year (and it wasn’t a great year economically), ever level from 10 (management) and above received a substantial pay percentage increase. Levels one through 9 received nothing.
    If you truly believe that the current distribution of income is even close to being fair, then I guess we will agree to disagree.

    1. There is no such thing as fair. Get that backwards, childish notion out of your head. The world is inherently unfair, and no amount of good feeling will change that fact.

      Assuming you are more than a few years old, in the time since you were a child, the regulatory state has ballooned, government debt has skyrocketed, and the welfare rolls have swelled.

      That people nowadays can live anywhere near the way they lived then is a testament to the power of free enterprise. It has endured some of the most severe beatings short of a communist revolution, and yet still powers forward.

      People say things like businessmen are selfish and if given the chance will take everything and leave nothing. A businessman does not have an army standing behind him, but the government does.

      Tell me, when the engine of free enterprise is finally stifled and the world returns to its natural state of utter and destitute poverty, how much care will central planners give to your interests?

      The government is a weapon, and you are not its true master.

      1. How do businessmen not have armies standing behind them?

        And there is such thing as fair. If life isn’t fair, it should be made more fair. If your excuse for management sucking all the gains from increased productivity for themselves is “life isn’t fair,” then kindly take a gander at this rocket launcher I found and give me your house. Hey, no such thing as fair. Gimme.

        1. I enjoy the fact that you consider a temper tantrum to be a coherent argument.

        2. management sucking all the gains from increased productivity

          How is it that after every noble progressive endeavor to fix the excesses of capitalism, it only becomes more and more excessive?

          Tell you what, let’s get rid of the regulations, taxes, and welfare that define the modern economy-government dynamic and see what happens?

          We are already well down your rabbit hole, shithead, and this is what happens. Your solutions didn’t solve the problems you claimed they would.

          How many times must the tired hypothesis that state action can create equality be refuted before you will accept that it is fallacious?

    2. the bottom fifth’s after-tax income in constant dollars rose by 49 percent. The incomes of households in the second lowest, middle, and fourth quintiles increased by 37 percent, 36 percent, and 45 percent, respectively. The poor and the middle class got richer.

      Do we understand what constant dollars are?

      http://mjperry.blogspot.com/20…..od-in.html

      The same applies to major appliances, computers, etc.

  21. The financial crisis occurred because of the dismantling of bank regulation (repeal of glass stealy act) Lets remove all those pesky regulations like minimum wages child labor pollution laws, its just getting in the way. It cracks me up ridiculous wars that cost trillions bank bailouts more trillions, and who do the wing nuts blame, the poor. when tracing a crime follow the money if it leads you to the slums you went the wrong way!

    1. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 7:58PM|#
      “The financial crisis occurred because of the dismantling of bank regulation (repeal of glass stealy act)”

      Bull
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      Shit.
      Brain-dead lefty taking points and you didn’t copy them very well.

      1. repeal of glass stealy act

        And what of the other roughly dozen recessions between the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933 and its “repeal” in 1999?

        Lets remove all those pesky regulations like minimum wages child labor pollution laws, its just getting in the way.

        If you refuse to even admit that regulations impose a cost on the economy, even if you believe that cost is necessary and worthwhile, then you are engaging in fantastic thinking.

        It cracks me up ridiculous wars that cost trillions bank bailouts more trillions

        Yep, we’re all a bunch of warmongering banker lovers over here. Nothing says free enterprise like the government owning or propping up half the economy!

        who do the wing nuts blame, the poor.

        No one is blaming the poor, you illiterate fool. The only ones responsible for the government we have are the people who vote for it.

        when tracing a crime follow the money if it leads you to the slums you went the wrong way!

        While no one is blaming the poor, your ridiculous deification of them is pretty ridiculous. So now crime rates aren’t correlated with income levels?

        1. Not meant as a response to Sevo. SQUIRRELS!

        2. your ridiculous deification of them is pretty ridiculous.

          also, derp

        3. ” While no one is blaming the poor, your ridiculous deification of them is pretty ridiculous. so now crime rates aren’t correlated with income levels?

          OOPS: you might want to tuck in that racism in public, just slips out doesn’t it.

          1. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 8:25PM|#
            “OOPS: you might want to tuck in that racism in public, just slips out doesn’t it.”

            Oops. You might want to tuck in that stupidity!
            Or is that not possible?

          2. Wow you got real stupid real fast.

    2. The financial crisis occurred because the Fed fucked up interest signals in the market on top of all that sweet, sweet gov’t intervention in the housing market. Fannie and Freddie ring a bell?

      It cracks me up when some Leftard doesn’t realize we’ve spent trillions on the WoP just to end up right where we started except deeper in debt. And who do they blame? The productive class. Because clearly they must have cheated, ’cause, um, well they won, didn’t they?

      1. If they were so productive why did they need a 6 trillion dollar bailout from the lazy rest of us ? Please make your answer interesting and creative.

        1. They got one because they asked for one and the Keynesian fools supported by the majority of voters gave them one.

          If you thought you could convince the government to steal money from one group of people and give it to another, wouldn’t you do it?

          1. If you thought you could convince the government to steal money from one group of people and give it to another, wouldn’t you do it?

            Should be “and give it to you

        2. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 8:18PM|#
          “If they were so productive why did they need a 6 trillion dollar bailout from the lazy rest of us ? Please make your answer interesting and creative.”

          You seem lost; your GPS sent you to the wrong site. Please find anyone here who defended the bailouts.
          Ooops: Other than the brain-dead lefties who get laughed at.

        3. Silly Leftard, logic’s for kids! The poor must be poor because all the evil banksters –that’s everyone earning more than me in DannyLand– stoleded all the monies. So after spending trillions in the WoP for no significant improvement after DECADES, well the reason that it failed is, um, some people make more money than I do.

          That’s some prime public school edumacation, that is.

      2. “The FED fucked up interest signals? Does your mom know your on the computer?

        1. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 8:42PM|#
          “The FED fucked up interest signals? Does your mom know your on the computer?”

          So your best response is an ad hom? Pathetic.
          Yes, the Fed continues to screw with interest rates, in case you missed it.

          1. AD HOMINEM ? That’s every thing you say, what do you think brain dead lefty is? a compliment moron.

            1. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 8:52PM|#
              “AD HOMINEM ? That’s every thing you say, what do you think brain dead lefty is? a compliment moron.”

              Yes, shit-for-brains, I also include a rebuttal to your supposed argument. Such as I did right here, you asshole.

        2. Yours does. Who do you think is servicing me as I type?

          1. I’m pretty sure you’ve never been serviced.

  22. If you want unregulated trade just read the book King Leopolds ghost its about the Rape of the congo. What would you have told the slaves in this country ” Life isn’t fair “

    1. Slavery, another shining example of free enterprise.

      You’re just full of DERP, aren’t you?

    2. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 8:06PM|#
      “If you want unregulated trade just read the book King Leopolds ghost its about the Rape of the congo.”

      I take that back; you’re much dumber than american socialist.
      You idiot, that was the GOVERNMENT who did that. It was the regulators at blame.

      1. It was at KIng Leopolds behest and there was no regulation, why are these concepts so difficult for you?

        1. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 8:47PM|#
          “It was at KIng Leopolds behest and there was no regulation, why are these concepts so difficult for you?”

          Leopold was the government; the regulator if you will. Now you are trying to get reasonable people to believe that a lack of government involvement was the problem.
          So the quesiton to you is: Why do you attempt to project your seemingly bottomless stupidity upon others?
          In fact, there’s another question: Why aren’t you embarrassed to be so stupid?

          1. Nope, a lack of regulation was the problem, A lot of this stuff is going to be confusing at first, I’ll go slower from now on.

            1. Dan The Man|3.17.14 @ 9:09PM|#
              “Nope, a lack of regulation was the problem,…”

              OK, enough. You stamp your foot claiming “up” = “down” and I’m simply not willing to deal with that level of infantile stupidity.
              Go get fucked with a rusty garden tool.

        2. Slavery, the ultimate imposition of direct government control over a person’s life, is not a form of regulation?

          1. That’s not bad KB! That’s why we desire a government by the people and for the people. Which we no longer have.

            1. I don’t care who holds the chains that bind me, or what their intentions are, I don’t want to be in bondage.

              Fuck off, slaver.

              1. Sounds like you have enough chains already.

              2. This is the part where you extend your arm and light your lighter…….FREE BIRD MOTHER FUCKERS!!!

                1. Basically Dan, you thought you knew what Libertarians stood for, and were proven wrong. Then you tried to prove that Monarchy sanctioned, deregulated slavery is free market capitalism, and were proven wrong. And the best you can do is call everyone an ignorant hick. You’re Fired. Oh, and fuck off slaver.

  23. situated in the top fifth of incomes into four groups: those in

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