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Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wealth

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:01 pm UTC
by Thesh
https://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/1 ... -1-percent

And the paper linked to in the article (I haven't read it):

http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-zucm ... wealth.pdf

We really need a much higher minimum wage that grows with productivity, we need to stat passing actual jobs bills, we much higher top-tier tax rates, lower bottom-tier tax rates, capital gains to be taxed as regular income, and we need to stop gutting the estate tax; it should be capped at ten years worth of median income. We are basically on track to complete collapse of our society if we don't do something about the rising inequality.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:37 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
I'm normally pretty "right wing" when it comes to wealth and income. I support a meritocracy, where people are paid what they are worth even if that is obscenely extravagant or below a living wage, with my liberalism being that government/society is best off making people worth more (eg, universal education, basic healthcare, and other services). But we aren't even pretending to have a meritocracy at this point. The wealth at the high end no longer comes from adding value but rather from shifting value around. Socialism sounds better every year...

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:40 pm UTC
by Thesh
So... Rent seeking doesn't have merit, in your opinion?

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:44 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
Fuck no, that's practically theft IMHO.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:48 pm UTC
by sardia
CorruptUser wrote:I'm normally pretty "right wing" when it comes to wealth and income. I support a meritocracy, where people are paid what they are worth even if that is obscenely extravagant or below a living wage, with my liberalism being that government/society is best off making people worth more (eg, universal education, basic healthcare, and other services). But we aren't even pretending to have a meritocracy at this point. The wealth at the high end no longer comes from adding value but rather from shifting value around. Socialism sounds better every year...

What does right wing mean for income and wealth? That taxes shouldnt be progressive? No estate or capital gains taxes? Less fenagling in the tax code?

Edit. As for the inequality, we know this has been a worsening problem. But voters decided that democrats suck so we just have to accept it for the rest of the decade. Maybe the GOP has to really fuck up, like Great Depression maybe even multiple crisises in a row. That way the rich can't weasel their way out.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:52 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
I'm not an economist, so, can someone explain how this fits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

America isn't the worst country for wealth divides, and, while America has gotten worse since 1950, it hasn't gotten MUCH worse. Curiously, it seems that America has gotten worse by about as much as Canada has gotten better, and the UK has seen a larger increase in income inequalities.

My only point to posting this is that while yes, this divide is really bad, I don't think it's an issue unique to America, and I think it's worth tempering one's outrage with some fact finding. So. Can an economist chime in?

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:56 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
"Right wing" means that it's "okay" to have income/wealth inequality, so long as that inequality itself is arrived at "fairly".

"The rich should pay more tax because it hurts them less" is not an argument that works on me, but "the rich should pay more tax because it will benefit them more" does. Want to know who the real welfare queens are? Not the people given food stamp money, but the companies like Walmart that end up with the food stamp money.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:03 pm UTC
by Thesh
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not an economist, so, can someone explain how this fits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

America isn't the worst country for wealth divides, and, while America has gotten worse since 1950, it hasn't gotten MUCH worse. Curiously, it seems that America has gotten worse by about as much as Canada has gotten better, and the UK has seen a larger increase in income inequalities.

My only point to posting this is that while yes, this divide is really bad, I don't think it's an issue unique to America, and I think it's worth tempering one's outrage with some fact finding. So. Can an economist chime in?


I'm not an economist, but I really think all other measures have shown it has gotten a lot worse:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/busin ... .html?_r=0

According to this, in the last ten years, the median household net worth has dropped from $87,992 to $56,355; that's a 36% drop. If the Gini coefficient doesn't show that, then it's probably an indication that it's not a reliable indicator of inequality.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:09 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
I wonder if that's actually what the Geni coefficient *is* showing.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:12 pm UTC
by Thesh
Yeah, now that I think about it for more than a second, Gini coefficient is measuring income inequality, I'm looking at wealth inequality. I wonder if they count unrealized capital gains as income.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:22 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
Donald trump was also the poorest American at one point, with a net worth of -$900m. He may be worth even less now; his financial policy has been "owe the banks so much they have to keep giving you even more money".

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:31 pm UTC
by Mokele
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not an economist, so, can someone explain how this fits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

America isn't the worst country for wealth divides, and, while America has gotten worse since 1950, it hasn't gotten MUCH worse. Curiously, it seems that America has gotten worse by about as much as Canada has gotten better, and the UK has seen a larger increase in income inequalities.

My only point to posting this is that while yes, this divide is really bad, I don't think it's an issue unique to America, and I think it's worth tempering one's outrage with some fact finding. So. Can an economist chime in?


While I'm not an economist, looking at how GINI works, it looks as if it's normalized by total income of the country - ergo if one person has 90% of the income, you get the same coefficient whether than income is $100 trillon or $20,000.

Also, there's the difference between income and wealth. If the wealthy save more, and there's low social mobility, then the same income Gini coefficient over multiple years will yield a much more skewed wealth distribution.

Lastly, it's worth noting that many of the worst offenders on the list are famous for their political corruption and exploitation of the many for the wealth of the few. Not company I like to keep.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:20 am UTC
by Izawwlgood
Mokele wrote:While I'm not an economist, looking at how GINI works, it looks as if it's normalized by total income of the country - ergo if one person has 90% of the income, you get the same coefficient whether than income is $100 trillon or $20,000.
I'm also uncertain if that's how it works, and like I said in response to Thesh's point about the median household income dropping, I wonder if the Gini Coefficient is more concerned with the average individuals income compared to the average income, and is, as you point out, a poor indicator of extreme wealth in the hands of a few.

Mokele wrote:Also, there's the difference between income and wealth. If the wealthy save more, and there's low social mobility, then the same income Gini coefficient over multiple years will yield a much more skewed wealth distribution.
Also true! Furthermore, if the wealthy aren't producing more wealth, I wonder what that does to the [mumblemumbleeconomicsthing].

Mokele wrote:Lastly, it's worth noting that many of the worst offenders on the list are famous for their political corruption and exploitation of the many for the wealth of the few. Not company I like to keep.
A useless observation would be 'there are countries that are much worse', but they're not surprisingly even worse offenders for political corruption and exploitation.

Please understand, I wasn't putting the Gini Coefficient up as some kind of proof that this wasn't an issue in America, but thought it might serve as a discussion point or additional metric by which to measure our economic landscape.

EDIT: Like, for example, is a country with a Gini Coefficient of 0 (or fine, 'much closer to 0') likely to be a productive country? Maybe someone should plot, uh, capital gains or average citizen... value...? as a function of the countries Gini Coefficient for an idea of what's a good number to be at?

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:07 am UTC
by Mokele
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm also uncertain if that's how it works, and like I said in response to Thesh's point about the median household income dropping, I wonder if the Gini Coefficient is more concerned with the average individuals income compared to the average income, and is, as you point out, a poor indicator of extreme wealth in the hands of a few.


From what I undertand, the Gini coefficient is a measure of how far from perfectly equal distributions something is; I have a colleague who is using this exact metric to describe unequal burrowing work contributions in social insects. It's in the form of X% of the population has Y% of the total quantity of Y (the money, the work, etc.), so the magnitude of the total Y won't matter, just how it's distributed.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:57 am UTC
by CorruptUser
Mokele wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm also uncertain if that's how it works, and like I said in response to Thesh's point about the median household income dropping, I wonder if the Gini Coefficient is more concerned with the average individuals income compared to the average income, and is, as you point out, a poor indicator of extreme wealth in the hands of a few.


From what I undertand, the Gini coefficient is a measure of how far from perfectly equal distributions something is; I have a colleague who is using this exact metric to describe unequal burrowing work contributions in social insects. It's in the form of X% of the population has Y% of the total quantity of Y (the money, the work, etc.), so the magnitude of the total Y won't matter, just how it's distributed.


Umm, no, it's not. It's the difference between the cumulative wealth distribution curve and the line Y = X. You are thinking of the Pareto distribution, which is indeed related to the Gini.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:55 am UTC
by leady
Thesh wrote:We really need a much higher minimum wage that grows with productivity, we need to stat passing actual jobs bills, we much higher top-tier tax rates, lower bottom-tier tax rates, capital gains to be taxed as regular income, and we need to stop gutting the estate tax; it should be capped at ten years worth of median income. We are basically on track to complete collapse of our society if we don't do something about the rising inequality.


All which I suspect cause the gap and do nothing to close it (they all eat away from the aspirant and leave the nobles untouched)

If you want to close the wealth gap, the obvious one is to stop inflating asset prices through 0% interest rates. Rich people own assets, poor people don't and now are actively incentivised against saving. So raise interest rates, crash asset prices and the problem is solved :)

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:11 am UTC
by Ormurinn
leady wrote:
Thesh wrote:We really need a much higher minimum wage that grows with productivity, we need to stat passing actual jobs bills, we much higher top-tier tax rates, lower bottom-tier tax rates, capital gains to be taxed as regular income, and we need to stop gutting the estate tax; it should be capped at ten years worth of median income. We are basically on track to complete collapse of our society if we don't do something about the rising inequality.


All which I suspect cause the gap and do nothing to close it (they all eat away from the aspirant and leave the nobles untouched)

If you want to close the wealth gap, the obvious one is to stop inflating asset prices through 0% interest rates. Rich people own assets, poor people don't and now are actively incentivised against saving. So raise interest rates, crash asset prices and the problem is solved :)


Completely correct.

Property is the big one, especially in the U.K. Everything that can be done to inflate house prices is being done, and has been since the last labour government.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm UTC
by elasto
Ormurinn wrote:Completely correct.

Property is the big one, especially in the U.K. Everything that can be done to inflate house prices is being done, and has been since the last labour government.


Started long before then. Great if you got onto the ladder at the right time. Sucks for everyone else though:

BBC Inside Out meets the Londoners living their dreams after making millions from the sale of their properties following the 2014 property boom.

Hackney has been at the epicentre of London's boom, experiencing an 860% increase in housing prices over the last 25 years.

Reporter Mark Jordan meets David and Jan Ash who bought their Hackney home for £43,000 in 1984. Recently, the couple sold the house for £1.8m.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:03 pm UTC
by sardia
I'm gonna need an economist stating that inequality can be solved by monetary policy. Aka citation needed from orm and leady.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:33 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not an economist, so, can someone explain how this fits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

America isn't the worst country for wealth divides, and, while America has gotten worse since 1950, it hasn't gotten MUCH worse. Curiously, it seems that America has gotten worse by about as much as Canada has gotten better, and the UK has seen a larger increase in income inequalities.

My only point to posting this is that while yes, this divide is really bad, I don't think it's an issue unique to America, and I think it's worth tempering one's outrage with some fact finding. So. Can an economist chime in?


It isn't that much worse. Now, we are coming off a recession, so that crappiness, is, I think, influencing perceptions somewhat.

CorruptUser wrote:"Right wing" means that it's "okay" to have income/wealth inequality, so long as that inequality itself is arrived at "fairly".

"The rich should pay more tax because it hurts them less" is not an argument that works on me, but "the rich should pay more tax because it will benefit them more" does. Want to know who the real welfare queens are? Not the people given food stamp money, but the companies like Walmart that end up with the food stamp money.


Are you referring to accepting payments in food stamps? Sure, there's an element of corporate favoritism there, but...I dare say that the quantity of supermarkets is such, and the overall variety of food is sufficiently large that food stamps do not create any particularly massive advantage for any one player.

If you are referring instead to the popular argument that many who work at Walmart accept food stamps, that is true. They would likely also be accepting food stamps working at any comparable job, or indeed, if unemployed altogether. If food stamps did not exist, Walmart would still be hiring people at fairly low wages. Entry level retail has long been low paying employment. This concept of holding the company responsible for the actions of government is a strange one, particularly so because of all the ire focused on walmart and mcdonalds, simply because they are large. Low paying jobs have always been with us. They didn't invent this. They'd still be with us if food stamps did not exist.

Izawwlgood wrote:I wonder if that's actually what the Geni coefficient *is* showing.


Well, yes, wealth and income are not the same(though obviously, a causal relationship exists). Certainly, Gini is only about relative income, and not absolute income. Savings rates matter a TON for wealth. If all income brackets saved equally, the ratios would match up, but this is definitely not the case.

Property inflation is generally bad, yes. In part because corrective action results in "crashes" which sort of screws up the whole market, but there's also the accessibility issue. It's not just buying a home, either...it's starting a business. A *lot* of businesses require a place to do business, and thus, requires either owning or renting space. Very expensive property prices do hinder mobility due to this.

sardia wrote:I'm gonna need an economist stating that inequality can be solved by monetary policy. Aka citation needed from orm and leady.


Neither is claiming that monetary policy is a complete solution. They are only claiming that monetary policy has the potential to make things worse. This is pretty trivially true. However, there's certainly room for discussion over how much influence monetary policy actually has, and what ideal policy looks like.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:52 pm UTC
by sardia
Tyndmyr, why would moving towards a more ideal monetary policy have to deal with inequality? It seems odd to argue despite x affect on inflation (deflation) and growth rate of gdp. It's more akin to a strawman or distraction from the issue. Why would lower asset prices help against inequality more than the deflation and recession hurt? it was a half assed answer from orm and leady and they should be called out on it.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:10 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
No I am saying that since Walmart is the one that ends up with the food stamp money, they are the real beneficiaries of the welfare system. If I have everyone $100 for rent, I'm really giving $100 to the landlords...

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:57 pm UTC
by Thesh
leady wrote:
Thesh wrote:We really need a much higher minimum wage that grows with productivity, we need to stat passing actual jobs bills, we much higher top-tier tax rates, lower bottom-tier tax rates, capital gains to be taxed as regular income, and we need to stop gutting the estate tax; it should be capped at ten years worth of median income. We are basically on track to complete collapse of our society if we don't do something about the rising inequality.


All which I suspect cause the gap and do nothing to close it (they all eat away from the aspirant and leave the nobles untouched)

If you want to close the wealth gap, the obvious one is to stop inflating asset prices through 0% interest rates. Rich people own assets, poor people don't and now are actively incentivised against saving. So raise interest rates, crash asset prices and the problem is solved :)


The policies I propose are what we implemented in the wake of the great depression, and they worked. It wasn't until we got rid of those policies that wealth inequality started growing again. The link between interest rates and housing prices aren't as clear as you think:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... es/241504/

Maybe it had an effect in the 2000s, but prices remained pretty flat for about 50 years, despite large changes in interest rates. The 2000s were an anomaly, and other reasons need to be proposed to explain the housing prices. Hell, income inequality itself could have changed it; if private equity firms buy up homes so they can rent them out for a profit, then the number of homes on the market decline. As the people buying homes to live in are more and more the people in the top 20%, which is the only income bracket that is growing, they are able to spend more on homes, which can also push up the prices.

EDIT: I should note that the housing bubble was also not uniform across the country, and any attempt to say that it was interest rates that caused it has to explain why it was only certain areas that saw a bubble.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:31 pm UTC
by Zamfir
If all income brackets saved equally, the ratios would match up, but this is definitely not the case.

'Saving' becomes a problematic concept when applied to the really rich. It implies a flow of personal income, some which gets diverted to a savings vehicle of one kind or another. But for a lot of rich people, their flow of income is small compared to their existing assets. And the size of that 'income' is typically self-chosen. Changes in their wealth are directly due to changes in the value and composition of thise assets. 'Saving' is not really a useful descriptor of that.

That's especially true for people who hold active controlling interests in companies. Say, a family with a controlling stake in the family business. If the value of that stake goes up, you could argue that they technically 'saved' money compared to the situation where they liquidate part of their stake and spent it. But that has little in common with the activity you or I would call saving money. Owning the business is often a goal in itself, with the monetary value just a nominal label. It's not a means to postpone consumption, like a stake in a company would be for me. Many rich people expect to die with most of their wealth intact, because spending was never the purpose. Owning (with the associated power) was the end goal.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:49 am UTC
by Diadem
One thing I have never understood about these kind of statistics.

Why isn't the wealth of the bottom x% of the population negative? Surely there are many people with more debts than possessions. Take myself. I left university 2 years ago, and have had a good middle class job since then. So financially I'm in a pretty good place. But if I look at my wealth, well... I have a nice appartment - which I rent. I have a nice car - which is company owned. I have a computer, clothes, furniture, lots of books, all the normal stuff people generally own. Clearly all of that together is worth much less than my student debt. So my wealth is negative. And I highly suspect most people who went through higher education will have negative wealth for at least 1 or 2 decades. That's already a significant fraction of the population. Then we add the genuinely poor...

I don't understand how even the bottom 50% has positive wealth.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:34 am UTC
by duckshirt
Diadem wrote:One thing I have never understood about these kind of statistics.

Why isn't the wealth of the bottom x% of the population negative?

It is. I'm not sure what made you think otherwise?

Which of course means even if everyone made equal income and saved an equal amount at equal stages of life, there would still be a decent amount of wealth inequality.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:28 pm UTC
by Ormurinn
sardia wrote:I'm gonna need an economist stating that inequality can be solved by monetary policy. Aka citation needed from orm and leady.


Inequality in terms of financial wealth? Not really solvable with monetary policy, granted.

Inequality in quality of life? absolutely solvable with monetary policy.

Say the UK government increased the BOE base rate to historical levels - 8% ish. Immediately houses bought at the height of the housing boom would have their accompanying mortgages become untenable. This would lead to temporary pain on some highly-leveraged homeowners - but most of the pain would be heaped on buy-to-let landlords and firms.

That would cause an oversupply in the housing market. The higher interest rate would constrain their new purchase prices. Housing stock would rapidly drop in price to a new equilibrium which people could actually afford. That drop in housing prices would lead to an accompanying crash in rents.

I currently spend half again as much on rent as I do on all my other expenses put together, and I'm fairly lucky as for many people my age its more. That's not historically normal, and not sustainable as a society.

The average young working class person would benefit hugely in terms of quality of life from having more of their income freed up from rents.

....

Theres also the matter of inflation. Total inflation is remarkably low in the U.K at present. That's cause the basket of goods used to measure inflation is bollocks. More and more electronics products are added every year, whilst actual necessities like food are removed. Of course, the latest iphone or whatever sharply drops in price when its no longer new, exerting a massive deflationary effect on the basket as a whole. Meanwhile the things people actually need - Meat, Flour, Potatoes, are rocketing in price. Switching to a measure of inflation that accurately measures inflation on necessities, and government commitment to deflationary monetary policy, would again disproportionately help low earners.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:02 pm UTC
by sardia
Orm, are you citing a policy paper? I thought the solution to housing shortages was to build more houses. Like high rises or other buildings that pack a ton of people per sq meter.


As for inflation, the uk uses cpi and rpi, which one is linked to the bank rate? I see complaints of the rpi used because it underestimates inflation, so are you dissing rpi? Come on orm, need the basics if you are going to question the fundamentals.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:18 pm UTC
by Dauric
sardia wrote:Orm, are you citing a policy paper? I thought the solution to housing shortages was to build more houses. Like high rises or other buildings that pack a ton of people per sq meter.


You mean like Cabrini Green?

Sustainable housing isn't just about how you pack a ton of people in to a space, you don't "store" people like you would crates or pallets and expect good outcomes.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:35 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Can we back up; housing shortages?

I was under the impression that there were more empty homes in America than there were homeless, by a wide wide margin.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:41 pm UTC
by natraj
Izawwlgood wrote:Can we back up; housing shortages?

I was under the impression that there were more empty homes in America than there were homeless, by a wide wide margin.


that is almost certainly true if you look at america as a whole, but i'd be interested in seeing how it breaks down when it comes to actual population centers. like, some homeless person living in boston/somerville/cambridge where occupancy is ridic. high is probably not going to be benefited by an empty house in nebraska or detroit. i don't actually know how the numbers look when comparing where homeless people actually are most concetrated to where empty housing is most concentrated but it might be interesting too.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:43 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
Izawwlgood wrote:Can we back up; housing shortages?

I was under the impression that there were more empty homes in America than there were homeless, by a wide wide margin.


Some areas of the country don't have enough housing. Other areas have too much. The problem is somewhat self-balancing (people are moving to Detroit to buy $1000 homes. No, I didn't miss a zero, one thousand, for a full home). But even then, it takes a bit of mobility to move across the country. But there are hundreds of thousands of open homes... if you can move across the country to find them.

I think looking at housing as a whole, across a country as large as America is a bit flawed. Yes, we are a somewhat mobile country but distance and relationships bind people to locations. In the worst case (as per one definition of Ghetto), the people with the lowest income don't have the ability to move out. IE: A Ghetto is a neighborhood where everyone wishes to leave from, but none have the means to do so.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:49 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Yeah, valid, I've just not heard of housing shortages around the country. It seems that after the devaluation of most real estate, agencies had a harder time FILLING homes than people had finding them.

On the topic of Detroit, I remember reading something about how a high rise that cost ~50m to build changed ownership for 3m. People left that city in a hurry. Evidently it's also got a problem now where most basic home insurance packages people took out 10-20 years ago are worth more than their mortgages, so people are actively burning down their homes.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:52 pm UTC
by Dauric
You also have to have jobs where those houses are. It doesn't do any good to have cheap, empty houses somewhere with few openings for livable employment.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:05 pm UTC
by leady
Housing is less of an inflationary asset in the states compared to the UK. The Dow and NASDAQ are the more common asset bubbles in the US (you have land, we don't).

if you want to solve inequality... (stop reading now if you are lefty :))... stop poor people breeding.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:12 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
leady wrote:if you want to solve inequality... (stop reading now if you are lefty :))... stop poor people breeding.
Sigh... So, I'm going to give you a benefit of a doubt here, and ask you to further explain that one. I may regret doing so.

If you're only making a financial argument that child rearing is expensive and a suppressor of long term wealth gains, then sure, financial planning for the poor that includes an honest depiction of the costs of life choices seems prudent.

If you're suggesting that poor people stop breeding because they're poor and shouldn't have a right to families, then... Damn son.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:17 pm UTC
by Mutex
I like the implication that only "lefties" would have a problem with restricting people's right to breed.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:18 pm UTC
by LaserGuy
In either case, it's a sad statement of the fact that being wealthy has very little to do with hard work or merit and everything to do with how wealthy your parents are.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:29 pm UTC
by sardia
Izawwlgood wrote:Can we back up; housing shortages?

I was under the impression that there were more empty homes in America than there were homeless, by a wide wide margin.

Keep in mind that orm is referring to the uk. So I responded with uk points. Also for every shitty projects type place, you have examples of good high density living. You can't give everyone a white picket fence house. Those are just as bad if not worse for the country. Gang violence is a less abstract bad. Suburban living is absolutely worse for the country.

Re: Top 0.1% to pass bottom 90% of Americans in combined wea

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:55 pm UTC
by Dauric
sardia wrote:Also for every shitty projects type place, you have examples of good high density living. You can't give everyone a white picket fence house. Those are just as bad if not worse for the country. Gang violence is a less abstract bad. Suburban living is absolutely worse for the country.


No argument about the effects of suburbia, but planning quality high-density living does not start with the phrase "Pack a ton of people per square meter". The moment that phrase comes out you're planning space as though people crates or cordwood.