Originally Posted by J-Donk
This conversation has come up more then once on this board. You can not state extreme individual variance as the norm when looking at a systematic issue. The point is that the American dream is DYING. We have all the markers of a prosperous third world country: huge income equality, mediocre primary/secondary education system, and a lack of basic social services that all other first world countries have(UHC).
The point is what are you doing to do about it when looking at this from a systematic level? If the only point any Republican on this board every comes up with is "WELL GEE GUYS IF YOU TRY REALLY HARD YOU COULD BE A WINNER TOO. STOP HATING". You will be left with no middle class, and an effective oligarchy of the few at the top.
This thread reminds me I need to really buckle down and learn German/French, and hop over to a EU country.
Some facts that dispute the income inequality myth. Take a look and check out the link. I'm confident you'll dismiss it but who knows. Oh, and good luck in the EU. If you want to start a donation drive for your one way ticket, I'll happily contribute.
Here's the link, blurb below:
The Real Story Behind "Rising" U.S. Income Inequality
Why is income inequality rising for U.S. families and households, but not for individual Americans?
Having now shown that there has been absolutely no significant change in the level of inequality among U.S. individual income earners from 1994 through 2010, we thought we'd take a step back and look at the data for U.S. families and for households to examine those trends over time.
The chart below shows what we find for each grouping of Americans according to their Gini Coefficient, where a value of 0 indicates perfect equality (everyone has the same income) and a value of 1 indicates perfect inequality (one person has all the income, while everyone else has none):
Starting with the topmost line on the chart, shown in red, which applies to all individual income earners in the United States, we see that this group contains the greatest degree of inequality by income, according to its Gini ratio. Here, there is no meaningful change in the amount of measured income inequality for the personal income distribution for the years from 1994 through 2010 (or if you really want to stretch, there has been a very slight decline in individual income inequality over that time - in our view, it is too slight to be meaningful as it may be the result of natural variation from year to year.)
The next line down, shown in green, applies to all households in the United States. Here we see that compared to U.S. individuals, U.S. households experience less income inequality. However, we see that there has been a slowly rising trend toward greater inequality from 1994 through 2010.
Meanwhile, the next line down, shown in blue, applies to all U.S. families. Here, we see the greatest amount of equality for incomes earned in the United States, and we also see that like the trend for U.S. households, there has been a slowly rising trend toward greater income inequality in the period from 1994 through 2010.
If that sounds familiar, that's because the income inequality data for both families and households has been what has typically been presented in a very biased media as evidence that the "rich are getting richer" over time, especially as these claims are being used by academics and activists to justify an ever-increasing amount of intervention by the government to combat this so-called "problem".
But here's the thing. We have already confirmed that there has been absolutely no meaningful change in the inequality of individual income earners in the years from 1994 through 2010. If income inequality in the U.S. was really driven by economic factors, this is where we would see it, because paychecks (or dividend checks, or checks for capital gains, etc.) are made out to individuals, not to families and not to households.
It would seem then that the real complaint of such people isn't about rising income inequality, but rather, how people choose to group themselves together into their families and households.
With a near rock-steady level of income inequality among individual income earners over time, it is only possible for income inequality to rise among families and households if the most successful income earners group themselves into families and households and if the least successful income earners likewise group themselves together into families and households as well.
Multigenerational Family - Source: Nebraska DHHS
Think about it. The reason that the income inequality levels recorded for families and households are lower than those for individuals are because most families and households may have one high income earner, who is balanced out by individuals within the families or households who have low or no incomes.
But, if people with very high income earning potential join together to form families and households, and increasingly do so over time, perhaps because such people might have things in common that make forming themselves into families and households an attractive proposition, then income inequality among families and households will increase.
The same holds true for the opposite end of the income earning spectrum. If people with really low income earning potential join together to form families and households, or perhaps if they choose to split apart, and increasingly do so over time, then the resulting low income family and household will also make income inequality among families and households rise, even though there has been no real change in the amount of actual income inequality among individuals.