Inequality

Does Rising Income Inequality Justify Class Warfare?

Meanwhile U.S. intergenerational income mobility has not slowed.

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Class Warfare
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In his State of the Union message last January, President Barack Obama declared, "Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled." The president believes that rising income inequality in the United States has slowed intergenerational income mobility, the movement of individuals and families up or down the income ladder over time. The implication is that not only are the rich and their children getting richer, the poor and their children are staying poorer. But the evidence does not support the president's assertion.

The president's view was most likely informed by the analyses of his former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, labor economist Alan Krueger. In January, 2012, Krueger gave a talk at the Center for American Progress in which he asserted that "as inequality has increased, evidence suggests that year-to-year or generation-to-generation economic mobility has decreased."

Krueger began his analysis by comparing the industrial countries' Gini coefficients that measure income inequality with each country's degree of income mobility. A Gini coefficient of 0 indicates that family incomes are perfectly equal and a coefficient of 1 would mean that one family has all of the income. Krueger reported that countries with higher Gini coefficients tended to have lower income mobility. From this observation, Krueger concluded, "If the cross-sectional relationship [between higher Gini coefficients and lower income mobility] holds in the future, we would expect to see a rise in the persistence in income across generations in the U.S. as well." By persistence in income, Krueger means that children are likely to earn about what their parents earned.  If there is no intergenerational mobility at all, i.e., all rich children would become rich adults and all poor children would grow up to be poor adults.   

Why might growing family income inequality diminish the ability of poor children to rise and rich children to fall through the income brackets? Krueger suggests that "families with higher incomes can pass on more advantages to their children through providing more educational opportunities, and the reward to education and skills has increased." As the rich get richer they can afford ever better schooling for the children, which then enables rich kids to even more consistently outcompete poor kids whose parents could not pay for math tutors and summer camps.

One common measure of income mobility is intergenerational income elasticity (IGE). Intergenerational income elasticity measures the influence of parents' incomes on their children's incomes. If every child ended up earning what his or her parents earned, then IGE would equal 1. If there was no relationship between family income and the adult incomes of children, the IGE would equal 0. Krueger observed that IGE in the U.S. is around 0.4. "This means that if someone's parents earned 50 percent more than the average, their child can be expected to earn 20 percent above the average in their generation," he added. Conversely, children of parents earning 50 percent below the average would be expected to earn 20 percent below the average when they become adults. A lower elasticity means a society with more mobility both up and down the income brackets.

Krueger further suggested that if income inequality continued to increase in the U.S., then intergenerational income elasticity would increase, i.e, the tendency for the rich to stay rich and the poor to stay poor would intensify. Krueger added, "We will not know for sure whether, and how much, income mobility across generations has been exacerbated by the rise in inequality in the U.S. until today's children have grown up." But Krueger doesn't want to wait to see if he is right about his extrapolations; he wants to wage a bit of class warfare now. "We can't go back to tax policies that didn't generate faster economic growth or jobs, but rather increased inequality," he asserted. "Instead of going backwards, we should adhere to principles like the Buffett Rule, which states that those making more than $1 million should not pay a lower share of their income in taxes than middle class families. We should also end unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy, and return the estate tax to what it was in 2009."

But do we really have to wait to see if increasing income inequality reduces income mobility in the U.S.?  After all, U.S. income inequality has definitely been increasing over the past four decades. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the pre-tax and pre-transfer Gini coefficient for U.S. families has increased from 0.353 in 1970 to 0.448 in 2013. If Krueger is right, then this increase in income inequality should have already resulted in a decline in U.S. income mobility. Did it? No, says a new study (working paper available here) in the journal Social Forces by University of Michigan sociologist Deirdre Bloome.

Bloome traces the intergenerational income mobility of Americans using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) which has followed the lives of 18,000 individuals from 5,000 families since 1968 and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NSLY79) which is a nationally representative sample of 12,686 young men and women who were 14-22 years old when they were first surveyed in 1979.  She also compares income mobility trends between states that have greater income inequality and those with less inequality. Noting that U.S. family income inequality increased dramatically since 1968, Bloome argues that "if inequality hampered mobility, we would expect income elasticities to increase across cohorts."

Using PSID data she traces the income trajectories of 20 cohorts of children born between 1954 and 1974 to the incomes they are earning at age 30. She found "no systematic variation in cohorts growing up through a period of rising inequality at the national level." She further reports, "When incorporating information on state inequality levels and trends, I still find no strong link between inequality and mobility." Eyeballing her data, it appears that individuals born in the 1950s experienced a bit less income mobility than those born later.

Bloome also reports that the inequality that children experienced in their states both as primary school students and as teenagers did not predict their income mobility. "Suprisingly, NLSY79 results suggest that, if anything, children exposed to higher income inequality in their states at birth experienced significantly more intergenerational mobility than children from lower-inequality states," Bloome notes. She cites other studies that found when comparing U.S. states that there is no significant relationship between lower teacher-student ratios and higher per pupil spending and income mobility.

While rising income inequality may not be slowing intergenerational income mobility, it has not bolstered mobility either. Bloome observes that "as the distance between rungs on the economic ladder grows, movement between rungs may not get harder, but it also does not get easier. Thus, the economic consequences of growing up rich or poor have risen, simply because the distance between rich and poor has increased." In any case, Bloome concludes, "Currently available data provide reason to question the rhetoric linking US income inequality and income mobility."

That is to say, President Obama and Krueger are wrong: Rising income inequality does not lead to decreased income mobility. They will have to concoct another justification for waging class warfare.

NEXT: A.M. Links: NYC Politicians Not Interested in Exploiting Police Reform Movement Anymore, George H.W. Bush in Hospital, Game Networks Crash on Christmas

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  1. Krueger the Dishonest, the same man behind the BS claims that minimum wage increases made no difference in employment. Let me guess, he’s a political labor economist, i.e. a dishonest one.

    1. When politicians use taxes to raise the price of cigarettes, the result is fewer teenagers smoking! And that’s a good thing!

      When politicians use minimum wage to raise the price of hiring those teenagers, it doesn’t result in fewer teenagers being hired!

      Because intentions!

    2. Krueger the Dishonest

      …but you repeat yourself.

    3. HA HA!! you STUPID people are fighting about income inequality when we’ve locked you into a caste system ascending those in my privileged club above you all on a VASTLY more important level then being able to afford more taxes!!!

      http://youareproperty.blogspot…..ystem.html

    4. And who thinks estate taxes hurt the rich? They all hire lawyers to create trusts and whatnot to pass on their wealth to whoever they want. Estate taxes just make them jump through some extra hoops.

      1. When people think of *rich* they aren’t thinking of people, who want to leave their farm, or other small business to their kids.

        1. True, those people are often hurt by estate taxes. It’s the Rockefellers and etc. who don’t really care.

          1. Exactly, its its harming more people than it supposedly helps.

          2. But it DOES mean that any successful company, created by a individual with opinions about how a company he created should act, will end up in the hands of the Professional CEO and CFO types when the creator dies.

          3. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=2655

            Personally, I’m more interested in why a guy who earns millions by not doing a darn thing pays tax at a lower rate than I do, working 40+ hours a week.

      2. “Estate taxes just make them jump through some extra hoops.”

        Those laws are written by lawyers, and it is no surprise that lawyers are paid highly to get around those laws.

      3. I don’t understand how they complain that its wrong for people who are smart and/or work hard to enjoy the “advantages” of their skills/labor, but they have no problem punishing people for the same thing while simultaneously rewarding people who are stupid/lazy.

        1. Simple; the hardworking, the talented, and the smart are hard to push around. They don’t just knuckle under and do what their self-appointed Betters tell them to.

  2. Don’t try to confuse me with facts!

    It feels like the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so it must be true!

    1. If the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer under our current system, then you would expect lefties to advocate the opposite of our current system, ie low taxes and free markets.

      1. No, no, no, no, NO!

        The rich aren’t paying their fair share!

        If they were then they wouldn’t be rich!

        We must raise taxes on the rich until they aren’t rich anymore!

        Equality!

        1. We must raise taxes on the rich until they aren’t rich anymore!

          I liked your live album.

          1. Alvin Lee was a criminally underrated guitarist, his performance at Woodstock alone puts him in the guitar pantheon.

            But that line makes me want to barf whenever I hear it.

            1. + 100’s of frets.

              I played the live album for my 28 year old son, a throwback rock and roll fan, and he was blown away.

      2. No, you tax “the rich” out of existence and then magically the middle class booms and there are no poor people.

        See?

  3. You know what really contributes to inequality? Encouraging students from poor families to take out $150k in loans to major in women’s studies.

    1. How else are they supposed to finish their leftoid brainwashing?

    2. Thats why college should be free!

      /prog

    3. Is it kids from poor families do that?

      It seems much more likely that kids from upper class families are doing so and then outraged when their greivance studies major doesn’t lead to an easy 6 figure job.

      1. From what I’ve seen it’s mostly lower middle to middle middle class kids who do that. They are just wealthy enough that they don’t qualify for full rides, but aren’t wealthy enough that their parents don’t just pay the tab.

  4. As the rich get richer they can afford ever better schooling for the children, which then enables rich kids to even more consistently outcompete poor kids whose parents could not pay for math tutors and summer camps.

    Which only negatively impacts the poor if you believe in the zero sum fallacy, which would, in-turn, make you an economic idiot.

    Making one group better off doesn’t negatively impact another group unless the pot is fixed.

    1. Yet these same progressive scum create ‘common core’ to destroy any real critical thinking ability and further indoctrinate the masses to being unquestioning obeyers of the State.

      What they really mean is that they want to control who is getting over. After all, it’s ok to be ultra rich if you are a party member in good standing, or a friend and campaign bundler for the party. But if you are some filthy conservative, well, you must not be paying your fair share.

    2. Everyone who has played Monopoly knows that capitalism is a zero-sum game! Duh!

    3. “Making one group better off doesn’t negatively impact another group unless the pot is fixed.”

      Problem is, the pot is fixed. I wonder who could possibly have paid to put the fix in…

  5. OT from Tales of the Derp Side:Christmas Eve Document Dump Reveals US Spy Agencies Broke The Law And Violated Privacy

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi…..-eve-dump/

    Despite these pervasive white-outs, the records reveal that the agency did collect emails, phone records and other data?intentionally and unintentionally?about US citizens or foreign nationals in the United States, in violation of the law. In several instances, analysts then shared this improperly collected information with people not authorized to see it, including the military. Further inspiring confidence, inadequately trained agents also accidentally searched themselves in multiple instances.

      1. Oh. Sry, still recovering from celebrating our savior (Dramatic Re-enactment)

        1. I’ve got a dollar!

  6. “The president is wrong.”

    No shit.

  7. Here’s the “progressive” plan: First, enact regulatory, legal, financial, education, social welfare, tax, and foreign policy practices that exacerbate wealth inequality by making it increasingly difficult for people who aren’t already rich to earn and keep money. Then, increase taxes on the few who are still wealthy and redistribute some of their wealth to those who are being prevented from creating wealth to make it more “fair”. Continue until all wealth creation ceases.

  8. It seems to me that the concerns over inequality are driven to some extent by increased mobility of those at the top – to lower levels. Which is the opposite of the argument presented by the grievance mongers. That familial wealth in and of itself provides and easy up. Instead, that the child of wealthy people are forced to compete more and failing. to keep up.

  9. Rising income inequality has many causes, enough to discomfort people of all political persuasions.

    The rich have certainly gotten better at being and staying rich. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just a form of cultural/economic knowledge.

    Unfortunately, the poor have also gotten better at being and staying poor. There are gigantic government programs devoted to “helping” them. It’s a strong motivator to stay poor if your income and benefits drop the moment you try to better your economic situation. And hey, if your mother and grandmother had kids without husbands and were supported by Uncle Sam, why is it wrong for you to do the same?

    Other social factors are also important. Being poor used to be shameful. The poor tried hard not to look poor. But since the ’60s, it’s lost the shame, and “ghetto pride” attitude (and to some extent the poor white and Hispanic equivalents) have taken over. It’s no surprise that people who act poor, look poor, and are proud of it, don’t have much upward mobility.

    Plus, in recent decades we’ve imported tens of millions poor people from Latin America. That’s enough to make a significant change in income inequality statistics.

    1. The rich have certainly gotten better at being and staying rich. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just a form of cultural/economic knowledge.

      Is there proof? Last I heard, most lottery jackpot winners end up losing their fortunes within a decade (a fact that can not be reconciled with the rich getting richer).

      1. I think getting rich that way is different.

        1. Yep. When you actually earn your money, you’re less likely to spend it frivolously. When it drops from the sky? Learned helplessness.

  10. “The real “haves” are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them. They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities. On the other hand, the real “have nots” are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it. They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor.” — Eric Hoffer

    1. There’s no way to acquire wealth without putting a bunch of people out of work.

      I’m a techie, and old one at that.

      Lot’s of people are losing their jobs. Even techies without the “right” techie skills.

      1. Actively depriving someone of their wealth, as with redistribution, is the point that Hoffer was trying to convey with his description of “haves” and “have nots”.

        There’s always going to be some that are displaced due to technological changes.
        It’s the nature progress of all market based economies. Do we really have to retell the story about the “buggy whip”?

      2. There’s no way to acquire wealth without putting a bunch of people out of work.

        Say what?

        And how do you connect people losing their jobs with someone creating wealth? It seems that creating wealth would usually result in more jobs.

        1. Not at all, check out the following link. We’ve seen a significant increase in productivity, a large increase in our stock markets, and no growth in employment.

          Don’t get me wrong, There are some Techie jobs out there. I just visited three millionaire friends of mine in San Jose (the valley…not costa rica). They are still chugging out millionaires. But the regular guy is out of the picture.

          I seriously think we’ll have to re-consider the meal-ticket.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8ZzMGuPtRo

          1. You need take some basic econ classes, not ramble off this Luddite bullshit.

            Technological change, as with international trade, has always had a displacement of workers in the short run with greater overall marginal gains for the population at large who participate.

            Read up on Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage, the Heckscher?Ohlin model, and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations on how things really work.

            1. I’m familiar with all of this.

              I understand creative destruction etc.

              I doubt you’d be ok to be unemployed long term and have to make much less and be kicked out of the middle (and face divorce, bankruptcy, and all of the things that come with it) so that others (in the long run) will be better off.

              It’s great to talk about it. It would be pretty shitty to live.

                1. Forget emotion.

                  Although, I must admit, the website is rather cute. Can’t wait to use it on my god-fearing abortion friends.

                  But as I said, forget emotion. Simply imagine investing $100k on an educational path, working ten years, having a family, getting laid off, and having to lower your standard of living.

                  Once again, I’m not trying to work on your emotion for compassion or empathy of others but more on one’s own greed.

                  I offer no solutions other than “you better have a lot of money to live here.” Someone told me that when I was 11 years old and I’m thinking of having that phrase tatooed to my neck.

                  1. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:31
                    …”Simply imagine investing $100k on an educational path, working ten years, having a family, getting laid off, and having to lower your standard of living.”…

                    Simply imagine making sure you have some security *BEFORE* you have a family.
                    Or is that beyond lefty cognition?

                    1. So tell me Sevo, what were the details of your immaculate conception?

                      Did your parents plan well? Or, r u an accident like many in this world?

                    2. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:40PM|#
                      “So tell me Sevo, what were the details of your immaculate conception?”
                      WIH is that supposed to mean?

                      “Did your parents plan well? Or, r u an accident like many in this world?”
                      I see. So now we’re to presume that the devil made someone do it?
                      You seem to think the world runs on accidents and everyone is a victim.
                      I have a hint: You’re a lefty ignoramus.

                    3. “Simply imagine making sure you have some security *BEFORE* you have a family.”

                      Ah, yes, the traditional juvenilelibertarian response when real life affects others in ways unimaginable to children. Simply imagine how stupid your words will sound to you after you’re old enough to have a family and discover there is no security except death. Or rich parents.

                  2. “Forget emotion.”

                    And then you proceed to double down on another appeal to emotion argument, fucking brilliant!

                    Let me explain something, in the real world actual productively gain through worker efficiency will only net a maximum of 10-15%. Any additional gain must be obtained through technological advancement.

                    Why is worker productivity up significantly? It’s because of advances in technology, not the workers themselves. You also need less workers to produce at the same or higher levels as before. This struggle between technology and labor has been going on since caveman days when Ugh invented the wheel.

                    Any smart person is going to leave that field and acquire skills for another position that is in demand. Luddites, you included, are just going to cry like a little bitch while throwing their sabots into the machinery.

              1. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:19PM|#
                …”I understand creative destruction etc.”…

                No, you don’t. You’re a lefty ignoramus.

        2. My economic fallacy detector pinged for the labor theory of value when I read that line.

      3. There’s no way to acquire wealth without putting a bunch of people out of work.

        Huh?

      4. So, a hundred years ago, America had the same number of employed?

        1. Technology is moving quicker and quicker. I speak of the uneducated/unskilled.

          Even some techies are becoming obsolete.

          I’m glad I’m 50 and already got mine.
          I would not want to have to re-create myself to eat.

          1. One of my nieces and her husband both work in the food service sector and have a combined income over $80,000 / yr. which puts them in the second highest earning quintile. From ‘crappy’ service sector jobs.

            And thanks to technology and international trade, they are able to buy and enjoy many more consumer goods than my factory worker father was 40+ years ago.

            1. Look at the prices for TV in the 1970’s:

              http://www.tvhistory.tv/1970-Motorola-Ad.JPG

              Today you can purchase a 40-50 inch TV with HD for the same price without adjusting for inflation. I call that a win for everyone.

          2. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 3:36PM|#
            “Technology is moving quicker and quicker. I speak of the uneducated/unskilled.”

            No, you speak as an ignoramus.

      5. There’s no way to acquire wealth without putting a bunch of people out of work.

        Huh?

        (It’s worth repeating.)

    2. Could you tell me which book this is taken from?

  11. I’m afraid Labor is becoming more and more obsolete world wide.

    This is coming:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8ZzMGuPtRo

    1. Most unskilled labor is becoming obsolete, but only if it’s more expensive than automation. Some skilled jobs will be obsolete too. But again, only if it’s cheaper (or more efficient) to automate.

    2. derp

      Because the people being displaced by machines can’t do anything else.

    3. For the love of the Gods shut up !

  12. ” Krueger gave a talk at the Center for American Progress in which he asserted that “as inequality has increased, evidence suggests that year-to-year or generation-to-generation economic mobility has decreased.”

    Also, 1-in-3 women experience Sexual Violences in their lifetimes, and Blacks are shot 21X as often as housepets or teh whitey

    Daring to question the narrative of ‘injustice’ is by definition ‘racist or sexist or classist’; and you’d think in that sort of atmosphere that there would be NO NEED to employ misleading or outright false-claims.

    As some critics of the latter link point out = there is a disparity in black shootings – however its far less than half what is claimed, and is easily linked to other more-sobering explanations other than ‘institutional racism’.

    Which leads one to wonder why certain ‘advocates’ so prefer exaggerated and indefensible statistics than they do un-disputed facts.

    My theory = these ‘advocates’ are less interested in ‘advocacy’ for the specific issue than they are in picking a fight with political opponents, challenging them to call their bluff and in so doing force them to stand in ‘opposition’ to the Morally Superior view.

    i.e. “Its a trap”

  13. Bombshell conclusion by government official – rich people can afford to give their kids the best care and education, and the poor can’t. What a way to ruin Christmas.

    I’m certifiably poor, but I do have “rich” friends and cousins, and they dutifully remind me that they’re crushed by student debts, mortgages, insurance, taxes, etc.

    If you were promoted from a Walmart job to a full time job paying 70 thousand dollars, the income gap between you and some Wall Street Maven is not significantly narrowed. The rich will actually get richer if consumers suddenly triple their earnings. But why does that matter?

    1. Because it gives people bad feelz when the Koch brothers and their ilk have so much and everyone else has so little.. NOT FAIR!!!

      /prog

  14. Bombshell conclusion by government official – rich people can afford to give their kids the best care and education, and the poor can’t. What a way to ruin Christmas

    That is why there was a 75% inheritance tax. There were leaders in America that felt that wealth should not be passed on. They believed that no one should inherit wealth as this create people that don’t have to work and lousy citizens.

    Me, I want to leave my kids with a lot of money as being rich in our society is uberly important.

    1. That is why there was a 75% inheritance tax. There were leaders in America that felt that wealth should not be passed on. They believed that no one should inherit wealth as this create people that don’t have to work and lousy citizens.

      Those “leaders” were not only wrong they were immoral pigs.

      When were the poor better off, now or in the ’50s?

      1. I’m not sure they are wrong or immoral.

        I’ll give you this. Today’s poor in America has healthcare, transportation, air conditioning, food, etc.

        1. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:16PM|#
          “I’m not sure they are wrong or immoral.”

          That’s because you’re a lefty ignoramus.

    2. That is why there was a 75% inheritance tax. There were leaders in America that felt that wealth should not be passed on.

      Which is why there never used to be rich families with names like Rockefeller, Kennedy, Du Pont, Forbes, Astor….

  15. Family income inequality has risen largely because of the increase in two income families and the marriage of individuals with similar backgrounds and earning power. Perhaps the government should dictate who we can marry or whether spouses are allowed to work outside the home.

    At any rate, studies that use family rather than individual income statistics to follow income trends are written by dishonest researchers.

    1. That’s part of it. On the flip side is the rise of single parenthood.

  16. “The president believes that rising income inequality in the United States has slowed intergenerational income mobility, the movement of individuals and families up or down the income ladder over time.”

    Not shown.
    I would suggest the proper statement is the president thinks there is political hay to be made by making that claim. Belief has nothing to do with it; he’d lie if he knew it to be incorrect.

    1. It’s pretty clear, every year, we kick 1000 times more people out of the middle class per every millionaire created.

      Whether or not government has any obligation to interfere is another matter which I doubt any libertarian ) would want as the mantra is “no government intervention”.

      The reason companies Like Apple (and others) are hording cash and not expanding is due to the slowing down of consumer-ship.

      I go to the malls and you can’t find a parking spot. TO me, the economy looks great. The fact is that people are running up the Credit Cards again and due to the low rates of savings return and fear the the stock market, people spend what they make.

      But no doubt, upward mobility in America for the little guy or the regular guy is out the door. Not to say that some people are becoming rich Sevo.

      1. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:36PM|#
        “It’s pretty clear, every year, we kick 1000 times more people out of the middle class per every millionaire created.”

        It’s pretty clear you’re a lefty ignoramus.
        Now, if you really hope to prove otherwise, defend that pathetic claim you made.
        Don’t bother trying. Lefty ignoramuses are more than happy to appeal to emotion; reason is not among their skills.

        1. I and others keep bringing up emotions.

          I’m not speaking of emotions. I’m speaking of our own greed.

          We need people buying shit. Even if one can care less of someone moving their family to the poor house it hurts our economy in general when we lose these people’s consumer-ship.

          You guys on this site are the last people I’d bark up the “emotional tree” to.

          All of the goods and services that these 1000s of people can no longer purchase are having impacts upstream. And the few Millionaires and techies in the Valley aren’t making up the difference. NO EMOTIONS HERE….JUST MONEY.

          1. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:43PM|#
            “I’m not speaking of emotions. I’m speaking of our own greed.”
            Bullshit. “Greed” is constant; you might just as well claim you’re concerned about “gravity”. If you can’t see that is purely an appeal to emotion, you’re dumber than even I thought.

            “We need people buying shit. Even if one can care less of someone moving their family to the poor house it hurts our economy in general when we lose these people’s consumer-ship.”
            We need nothing of the sort; you might just as well spout the discredited ‘theory of labor’.

            “You guys on this site are the last people I’d bark up the “emotional tree” to.”
            So why do you do so?

            “All of the goods and services that these 1000s of people can no longer purchase are having impacts upstream. And the few Millionaires and techies in the Valley aren’t making up the difference. NO EMOTIONS HERE….JUST MONEY.”
            So are you suggesting that Walmart is going out of business since no one is buying anything?
            “Christmas retail sales hit record numbers, peak body says; average $2,500 each spent by those over 14”
            http://www.abc.net.au/news/201…..nt/5988420
            You’re probably too old to learn something beyond lefty dogma, but at least you should find a new drug. Whatever you’re taking makes you dumber yet.

            1. I’m telling you Sevo, there’s no getting rid of any of the seven sins of Humans. I’m not going down this route.

              What I’m saying is that people are running up the cards again.

              1. Alice Bowie|12.26.14 @ 4:52PM|#
                “I’m telling you Sevo, there’s no getting rid of any of the seven sins of Humans. I’m not going down this route.”
                WIH is that supposed to mean?

                “What I’m saying is that people are running up the cards again.”
                WIH is that supposed to mean?

              2. Please for the love of God shut the fuck up !

      2. Watch and fucking learn, dipshit:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDhcqua3_W8

  17. I believe that leftists focus on income inequality because there is nowadays little abject poverty in industrialized countries to otherwise enrage them. IOW, because there are very few poor (by historical standards) they must focus on another economic crisis to justify their call for equality.

    They are also envious of the rich–which seems reason enough, to them, to redistribute all wealth. But their object is the flattening of society.

    Making all people the same is their goal and they won’t let historically improving living standards for all (in industrialized countries) stand in the way of making all of us look, act, and live the same.

    But you knew this already.

  18. Alice Bowie has become an mtrueman clone.

  19. Inequality is a natural fact, not something to try to suppress. The productive, the industrious, the frugal, the intelligent, the well-born, the lucky, the well-connected and the corrupt, ordinarily do better than the rest; it’s always been this way, and always will be. There is no such thing as equality, because people are not equal in their abilities, desires, resources, or anything else.

    Equality is a fraud invented by the political class to extract more power and more money from the stupid (who would like to believe that others can improve their lot in life, and they won’t have to work to do it themselves), making everyone else poorer, and less in control of their lives, businesses and property.

    1. Inequality is a natural fact, not something to try to suppress.

      Isn’t it paradoxical that the Left champions diversity while decrying inequality? Do they really value diversity, or do they want increasing numbers of folk with various amounts of skin melanin calling for their narrow set of values?

      Methinks diversity is actually an anathema to the Left–despite their assertions to the contrary. They want all skin colors to think alike; all socioeconomic levels to agree; and expect every geographic community to agree with them.

      1. I sense a lot of internal conflict every time I talk to a devoted leftist who harps on about income inequality.

        On one hand, they believe that every human being is “equal” and that it’s not fair that some people live better than others, even when that advantage is solely gained through their hard work and financial foresight.

        On the other hand, they have an unshakeable belief in this superior class of people known as government officials. They believe that there are some humans walking the Earth who are made of a finer clay (as Bastiat says) who will guide us to a utopia if we will only let them be in charge.

  20. up to I saw the check 4 $7874 , I didn’t believe that…my… sister woz like they say actualey bringing home money parttime on their laptop. . there sisters neighbour started doing this for under 16 months and just paid the mortgage on there condo and got Lotus Elan . go to the website………

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  21. A thread of comments this long and I’ve yet to see the obvious libertarian view point – income/wealth inequality free of Force is to be appreciated (the assumption that wealth accumulated in an un-coerced manner is a product of people having “voted” with dollars). Income/wealth inequality due to cronyism and Force is to be decried. It’s as simple as that. People who have their beaks doused with debased money, or sweetheart government contracts, are to be scorned. People who make, or direct the making of, greater from lesser are to be cheered. Of course, regardless of how wealth is garnered, no one likes a show-off.

    1. I didn’t see it stated clearly either except for:
      XM|12.26.14 @ 3:36PM|#
      “If you were promoted from a Walmart job to a full time job paying 70 thousand dollars, the income gap between you and some Wall Street Maven is not significantly narrowed. The rich will actually get richer if consumers suddenly triple their earnings. But why does that matter?”

      But I think it’s pretty much understood here that the ‘inequality’ whine is a political statement irrelevant to the welfare of humans.
      Someone once posted (and maybe it was me) that Reich writes the same column every week:
      “The rich are getting richer quicker than the poor are getting richer!”

  22. OK I think that makes a lot of sense dude.

    http://www.AnonWayz.tk

  23. And yet congress is about to consider raising the H-1B quotas again. Limited by law to 65,000 foreigners brought to America to take high tech jobs, congress is debating whether to raise the ceiling to 85,000. Some want to raise it to 300,000. These are 3-year visas and renewable. So if you figure 100,000 per year, that’s 600,000 high tech jobs that your government is taking from Americans and handing to foreigners. It’s importing outsourcing.

    And they wonder what happened to the middle class?

    1. BambiB|12.27.14 @ 12:06AM|#
      …”So if you figure 100,000 per year, that’s 600,000 high tech jobs that your government is taking from Americans and handing to foreigners.”…

      No kidding?
      The “foreigners” are somehow better at these jobs? Or is the government forcing the companies to hire the “foreigners” who aren’t as good at them?
      Or are you hoping the companies hire “Americans” who aren’t very good at the jobs?
      Have you actually devoted any real thought to your point?

      1. Sevo, it’s common knowledge that the reason Silicon Valley likes H-1Bs is not because of a shortage of home-grown talent, but because immigrants will work for less and are easier to exploit. The Chamber of Commerce likes illegal immigrants for the same reasons.

        1. So the local talent prices themselves out of the market?
          And I’d like to hear about the ‘exploitation’.

  24. “They will have to concoct another justification for waging class warfare.” HUH? when has any one other than the current republican party and conservative christians, ever started class warfare? even if obama is wrong about what he is saying, how does it become his attempt to create class warfare? its a fact that those who have made the most in recent years are wealthy people and corporations. class warfare cant be started by those who are poor.

    1. class warfare cant be started by those who are poor.

      Derp.

      1. It’s a fact that he’s a retarded leftoid.

    2. cpmondello@gmail.com|12.27.14 @ 1:28AM|#
      “HUH? when has any one other than the current republican party and conservative christians, ever started class warfare?”

      Never heard of ‘tax the rich’, right?
      So, you can be either stupid or dishonest or maybe both; which would you prefer?

      1. Taxing rich people is not to make war on them, you sad dickless poodle.

  25. I like most of the stuff on Reason but this article was a waste of time. Didn’t tell me anything of interest.

  26. Marxists make their own justice. You know, that magical concept “social justice”.

  27. Resting your laurels on a study that is .0000375 of the population that was done on a completely different generation ( 60 – 70s ) is dumb.

    Especially when Millennials like myself are the going to be the ones who feel the divide of technology and influential wealth; I tried to go to College took out loans, went to ITT tech and Community colleges like an idiot, dropped out, now I’m in debt. If only I had one parent who went to college to advise me against my choices or a parent who had enough money to bail me out I wouldn’t be poor as hell.

    I guess I’m saying there is way less wiggle room when you are poor, if you mess up it’s more of a disaster.

  28. my friend’s step-mother makes $73 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her pay was $7220 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this web site

    ??????? w?w?w.p?a?y?f?l?a?m?e?.c?o?m?

  29. my friend’s step-mother makes $73 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her pay was $7220 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this web site

    ??????? w?w?w.p?a?y?f?l?a?m?e?.c?o?m?

  30. My last pay check was $ 9500 working 10 hours a week online. My Friend’s has been averaging 14k for months now and she works about 21 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I

    tried it out

    OPEN THIS LINK IN YOUR BROWSER,,,,

    ??????? w?w?w.?J?o?b?s?-?S?i?t?e?s??.c?o?m?

  31. No wonder fiscal libertarians are so freaking useless.

    10 of the 20 highest income counties in the US are the counties surrounding Washington DC. IOW – direct government teat sucking.

    6 of the 20 highest income counties in the US are counties surrounding NYC. Some of which may be true private sector – but most of which is Wall St which extracts massive amounts of cronyist rent off of both its primary dealing cartel and the designation of those government bonds/debt as the ‘risk-free’ collateral behind ALL financial leverage worldwide.

    That leaves 4 of the 20 highest income counties in the US (Douglas CO; Marin CA; Santa Clara CA; Williamson TN) which AREN’T virtually entirely dependent on cronyism or direct government teat-sucking

    Damn right. What we need is some class warfare and SOMEONE not on the left pointing out WHY the new class warfare has NOTHING to do with the hoary old Marxist/progressive claptrap.

    And if some innocent purely-market-derived rich people get caught in the crossfire – well cry me a fucking river.

  32. The premise of this article is completely asinine. The reason for the income gap is the GOVERNMENT pure and simple. Through over taxation to over regulation the government is lowering the standard of living for working americans by reducing their income, making it harder for small businesses to hire and make a profit and causing the cost of living to rise.

    Blaming the rich is pointless. They don’t make anyone poor – if anything their businesses give lower and middle income people the chance to work and succeed.

    I really wish Reason would stop publishing these socialist/communist articles.

  33. my neighbor’s step-mother makes $66 an hour on the laptop . She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her income was $18451 just working on the laptop for a few hours. hop over to this website,,,,,,,,,,,

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  34. just before I saw the receipt which said $5461 , I didnt believe …that…my mom in-law woz like they say actually bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there sisters roommate has been doing this 4 only about twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on there house and purchased themselves a Audi Quattro . this link………..www.netjob70.com

  35. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $80 an hour on the internet . She has been laid off for five months but last month her payment was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    website here……..
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

  36. The Gini index in fact actually mitigates inequality – it hides just how bad inequality really is.

    Our British Prime Minister uses the Gini index (provided by the UK Office for National Statistics) to pretend inequality has got better here since 1986.

    This is a deception – they all know the rich have got much richer year on year since then and the poor are now need food bank charity.

    I tested and analysed the methodology after hearing this false claim by our PM.

    My findings are that the Gini is useless for comparing inequality of poor to rich – it is also useless for comparing one country to another country.

    The ONS refuse to confirm or deny my findings – they are just evasive.

    The Gini is a confidence trick to hide the massive and ever widening gap between the richest and poorest.

    It uses frequency distribution to hide the wealthy and only compares the poor to the average income. It does not compare the rich to the poor – the millions of our poorest families on lowest income to the privileged wealthy families.

    Here is undeniable proof that even somebody with basic GCSE Maths could understand:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Y_fUlYs-Q

  37. I should think, since gross income inequality creates inefficiencies in the market, libertarians would be highly interested in reducing* income inequality.

    *Reducing. Not minimizing. Not eliminating. Reducing. Look it up if you’re having trouble.

  38. New readers to the Reason comments section: you can always spot many of the trolls by their tendency to show up and post their bullshit long after the article has stopped attracting regulars. If they did otherwise, their “arguments” would be easily destroyed by the Reason regulars.

    1. Thank you for warning me. I found here by googling daily and will come here more often then.

  39. I Got Hooked On Having An Online Business Almost A Decade Ago When I Created An Online Course And Made My First.
    —–http://tinyurl.com/cashclick1

  40. It appears to me that the GINI data is being delayed.

    Most of the sites that have GINI data are using such dated data as 2008 CIA and outdated World Bank data.

    Who/what is holding back the latest GINI data on income as well as wealth??

    One might suspect that the Disguised Global Capitalist Empire, the ‘Empire of Chaos’ (as Pepe Escorbar calls it), the ‘Empire of the Global Elite’, and this highly integrated (but well hidden) six-sectored; corporate, financial, militarist, media/propaganda, extra-legal, and dual-party Vichy-political Empire, which has ‘captured’ and now almost fully “Occupies” our former country as its nominal HQ, is the most likely culprit in hiding/delaying popular access to the latest GINI data, eh?

    “The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard, “U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of the U.S. state apparatus to continue to attempt to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism. We face an EMPIRE of global capital, headquartered, for evident historical reasons, in Washington.” [caps added]

    Robinson, William I. (2014-07-31). Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (p. 122). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

  41. Class warfare, to a liberal, is its own reason.

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