Income Disparity

It is also a bit comparable with the ILP situation. :wink:

I agree with carleas that revolution cannot fulfill what is needed. As with all revolutions, nothing really changes except the players. The top and bottom exchange places with the middle being screwed over.

We shouldn’t allow frustration dictate a reasoned approach to our problems. Evolution, not revolution.

I grow tired of saying the same thing over and over, but… EDUCATION. People can and will act when they see their particular ox (oxes?) being gored. You want to put pressure on our so-called representatives? Informed constituants is the answer. Sure, it isn’t instant gratification but slowly and surely changes take place. Too slow? Maybe. I want what I want NOW!

It just doesn’t work that way. Every generation is in a hurry to fix their parents screw ups, but reality gets in the way most of the time.

All those who voted to “drain the swamp”, “drown government in a bathtub” , look around. How’s that working for you?

It’s worth noting that this same system brought about a society that has raised standards of living for all its members, ushered in world-changing technological advances, and set an example that has been the model of good government for the world for two centuries. You’re looking at the last three decades of increasing partisanship and deadlock and calling it “more of the same”. Would that it were.

There is some evidence that the increased transparency has led to worse government. A lack of transparency can enable compromises that are too costly to individual politicians when they must made in public, so they don’t get made, and we get gridlock instead of better-than-nothing solutions.

A similar argument favors pork-barrel spending. While they are usually wasteful, nepotistic projects when viewed separately, they help to align the personal incentives of legislators and enable cooperation, which pays dividends collectively.

Do we trust the Washington Post? They have recently reported that “almost three-quarters of the rise of Americans living in poverty since 1990 reflects increases in Hispanic poverty — increases linked to immigration, whether legal or illegal.”

The first thing we have to do is to diagnose who is rich and who is poor. If, for instance, most poor people are recent arrivals, especially illegal arrivals, we’d have different solutions than if those poor people are mostly legal factory workers. I am not stating that one group is more worthy than another, but just that the causes may suggest the solutions better than a pie chart does. It’s also helpful to know what the permanence of poverty in a group is.

We also have to acknowledge that yesterday’s middle class may be today’s poor class not only because of government policy, or tax laws, but because relative affluence is a moving target. Does anyone know how many poor households have air conditioning, a car and an iPhone?

Exposing a few serpents to the light of day hardly makes for an honest, open governance. Depending on the few you choose, it is certainly likely to make things worse.

What middle? That’s the problem…there is no middle.

If you consider yourself an informed constituent, what are you able to do to put pressure on those elected? How do you fire them for not doing the job they agreed to do? Once they are elected, once they’re in…where are the checks and balances…for the people they represent?

So everyone knows that they are crooks…what then? Don’t elect that crook again, but oh yeah, we have a new crop of crooks, elect them. What?

Congress needs to be held accountable, but how?

By and by, the major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post have lost a big chunk of their credibility with all their Presidential lies. Why would anybody believe that there are only increases in Hispanic poverty?

Most poor people have a $100 5000 BTU window unit air conditioner, a 15+ years old car, and a real cheap smart phone. No central air, no newer cars, and no iphones.

How can illegals be as worthy as legal citizens? It’s difficult to read pure craziness.
aka criminals are as worthy as the law abiding

Just look at some buildings:


These are the US poverty guidelines:

Is an income of $12,060 (for a single person) too high or too low to be considered a reasonable dividing line?

Wendy suggested $40,000 as a threshold.


I think that in many ways, illegals are not equal to citizens. I am just not using that as a premise.

Alf - Your pics illustrate my point, to a degree. That 50’s middle class house doesn’t represent a middle class house today, in many markets. I will say this - my house is about that size, yet i am solidly middle class. The middle class has decreased in recent years, but is lately making a comeback. This depends upon just what kind of income you call middle class, of course. There is no universally accepted definition of that term. By most measures, more have moved up than down.

To tentative and all - we have been , on this thread and others, talking about how most factory workers cannot sustain a middle class lifestyle (although married couples who both work in factories sometimes can - I know many such people). But what is the imperative that factory workers be middle class, except that for a relatively brief period of time, in circumstances that would be difficult to repeat, this was so?

But again, we have to look at what money buys and not just income. If the “poor” are relegated to that 50’s cape, is that so bad?

Now, I know poor people whose housing is much worse, to be sure. But again, some are first generation. Twas ever thus. Some have criminal records and drug problems. Aren’t these some of the problems we should be looking at as well as income?

Violence is always an option, though riots and revolutions are mostly no real solution.

I’m not saying that it is my option, but that it is always an option.

See above: Violence is always an option, though riots and revolutions are mostly no real solution.

It depends on the extend and on the quality of the kind of change whether nothing or something changes.

Would it have been better, if the people of the posterior United States of America hadn’t defeated their colonial masters?

Do you wanna live in a colony?

A reasonable dividing line for what…I can’t afford a gun and bullets, not even the razors for suicide, but maybe a used rope once I borrow funds from a church to buy a 12 foot hemp at a thrift store?

$3600 rent at $300 a mo. (this is renting a bedroom in an apartment with roommates)
$2400 food at $200 a mo. ($50 a wk. eating basically rice, beans, and potatoes, little other nutrition)
$2400 health insurance at $200 a mo. [CO-PAYS not included.]
$2100 utilities at $175 ($50 elect., $25 water/sewer/trash, $50 phone, $25 internet, $25 natural gas)
$3240 transportation (used car/paid off) at $270 a mo. ($40 gasoline wk X 4= 160, $60 liability insurance, $50 repairs/maintenance)
$600 personal products (cheap hygiene/used clothes) at $50 a mo.
$600 household products (paper/cleaning/laundry/etc.) at $50 a mo.
$60 for emergency money FOR THE YEAR


$15,000.00 :sad-roulette:

People who work full-time manual labor jobs should be earning $40,000 and the CEO’s, Upper management, and shareholders should be living off less returns, say less than $250,000.

You’re assuming that a poor person has all those expenses. (and also assuming that those amounts are correct and reasonable.)

Maybe poor people ought not to have cars or phones or internet or health insurance.

That’s part of the discussion here, although it’s mostly unstated.

I’m speaking of the working poor and who are you talking about…the homeless? They already don’t have all that stuff, I know they have too much…let’s discuss.

What is not reasonable from the list above?

I already said. It’s not a given that the poor must have cars or health insurance or …

If they cannot earn enough for their health care, everyone else pays for it one way or another. The objective is for the working poor to earn enough to handle their own expenses, not taking government aid.

How do poor people get to work if they have no car? How do they pay their bills, bank, shop without a car? Not everyone lives where there is 24/7 public transportation and last I checked that wasn’t free either.

Insurance is a way of sharing costs and risk, so technically nobody who has insurance is paying for his own health expenses.

Is health insurance an absolute right of everyone in America? Is access to health care an absolute right?

Faust brought up air conditioning. Is that a right?

You have to answer questions like that before you can start to set income levels.

The modern internal combustion automobile officially dates from 1885.

How did people manage to work before that year?