Morenci, Mich. & Fayette, Ohio
from SCOTT HORSLEY at NPR.org
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Posted in Econo.
– October 29, 2011
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I did not read all 63 pages of the study. However, the caption on the picture seems misleading. “Poor” is a subjective term. It means different things to different people and means different things to different generations. In 1979 it would have been unthinkable for someone who is “poor” to have a cell phone. Today it would be common.
The CBO study does not address a category labeled “poor” but only addresses the bottom 20% in income. Those are two totally different things in my view.
My view from 10,000 feet is that the lower incomes have suffered the most through the demise of the manufacturing base and increase in the service sector.
Cell phones themselves would have been unthinkable in 1979. Life has changed considerably. It seems like very picky criticism to fault this story because the word “poor” was used. The report is about the increasing gap in the distribution of income, no matter how you label Americans.
Interesting, the subject of cell phones.. My normal, narrow view of things carries over to the issue of young children possessing them. No matter where one looks, very young kids are talking on cell phones and although I still feel the majority of them are unnecessary at that age, I am told that in larger cities, where parents aren’t always able to access their offspring in a timely manner like we could in Morenci, the phones are presented for safety purposes. If there is any harassing or threats and intimidation, the cell phone can be a life line. THAT, I understand. Too often, however, I feel that parents are sort of under the gun to give their children what everyone else has, lest the child feel like the Lone Ranger and the subject of taunting for not being up to snuff.
Mr. Green you surprise me. If you don’t differentiate between poor and an arbitrary bottom tier of workers then I guess we are farther apart in our thinking than I previously thought. While I may feel some compassion in which I would act on for those that are unable to meet their basic needs, I feel absolutely no need to help someone keep of with the the Jones.
I found this info from Zakaria of CNN.com/GPS, about comparing country’s economic inequality, very interesting. This post came from his Facebook page.
click graphic to enlarge
As James Lindsay points out on CNN.com/GPS:
“What does economic inequality in the United States look like compared to the rest of the world? To answer that question you need to know a bit about the Gini coefficient, the most common metric economists use to measure inequality. The Gini coefficient runs on a scale from zero to one, with zero indicating total equality and one indicating total inequality (that is, one person has all the income and everyone else has nothing). Based on data from 2005, the last year for which comparable data are publicly available, the United States had one of the highest levels of income inequality among OECD nations.”
I still don’t understand your complaint, Contrarian. Because a reporter used the word “poor” when writing about the CBO study, you give no credence to the study itself?
How about this from the Washington Post written in September: “Nearly one in six Americans was living in poverty last year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, a development that is ensnaring growing numbers of children and offering vivid proof of the recession’s devastating impact.”
That’s 16.7%, creeping up very close to the 20% that you’re emphasizing. 16.7% of Americans live in poverty!
Intervention Speech at US Captiol, by Jessica English of St. Paul, MN
For Jessica’s full Post- Citizensintervention.com
Mr. Green- it does seem difficult to make my point in a few written sentences but you of all people (because of your proffession) understand that words have meaning and their use should be careful.
I do not take issue with the study. I take issue with calling the bottom 20% poor soley because they are in the bottom 20%. An earlier point I was trying to make is that the definition of poor keeps changing. It is certainly different here than it is in India. Are the people over there less valuable human beings? Maybe we should take care of them.
Steve- a touching video. A single mom that cannot afford to eat that traveled from Minnisota to D.C. to make a speech in which she did not offer a single solution to what she called social injustice. A big social injustice is asking the general populace to enable people to make decisions that will keep them in poverty.
Can we call the bottom 16.7% poor, Mr. Contrarian, in accord with the U.S. Census Bureau, or are you saying that the bureau’s definition of poor has changed and no longer makes sense?
Of course the definition of poor is different around the world, but I don’t understand how this relates to the value of a human being. This discussion is turning wacky.
I give up.
Maybe I’m piling on if Contrarian has already given up, but I’d ask him when — if ever — the growing disparity will trouble him. The gap will only widen, and at an increasing pace, if we continue on the path we’re on. And that’s partly because we’re well beyond the point of the super-rich buying mansions and yachts, and into the realm where they’re buying the political and economic system, to no one’s benefit but their own. The notion of America as a fair playing field where anyone with gumption can make it is a fading fantasy. The deck is stacked — more so all the time. And Contrarian can be stirred only to defend those who would leave him or his children or grandchildren in the dust. Sad.
Putting Millionaires Before Jobs
Nov 3, 2011 New York Times Opnion page:
There’s nothing partisan about a road or a bridge or an airport; Democrats and Republicans have voted to spend billions on them for decades and long supported rebuilding plans in their own states. On Thursday, though, when President Obama’s plan to spend $60 billion on infrastructure repairs came up for a vote in the Senate, not a single Republican agreed to break the party’s filibuster….
…read the article here- New York Times
It is a known fact and well documented: The Republican and Tea Parties have determined that if any legislation should make Obama look good in the eyes of the nation, then they will not vote for it–no matter whether or not it would benefit millions. It is a crime beyond measure and we all will suffer because of their obstinance and mean-spiritedness.
This is a different M.O. from the true conservatives of the past.
“”There was a time when I was reporting on Congress, that I admired, respected and even liked some of the most stalwart conservatives in the Senate. But that was before the conservatives of the Republican Party metamorphosed into a rancid rabble of radicals who seek to cripple a president, the federal government and the Constitution of the United States.”’
Flintite- I did not mean to rob you of your opportunity to debate with me, I only meant that it is futile to try and make a point in a blog in a few short sentences when the opposing view has there mind made up and is not interested in being swayed. I’m sure Mr. Green has that frustration while debating me all the time.
Your question Flintite, will the disparity ever bother me assumes that it does not bother me now. It does. However, where I differ with the progressives is in what has caused the disparity and what is the solution to providing a method for those on the bottom of the scale to raise their incomes. The following limit the opportunity to grow your income if you are currently near the bottom:
1. The federal government has not taken sufficient steps to enforce anti-monopoly laws.
2. The federal government has gone way to far in implementation of a public safety net.
3. The voters have allowed congress to manipulate the tax code to benefit the more affluent and powerful in our country.
4. The voters have allowed congress to interfere with capitalism with subsidies and bailouts and manipulate social justice.
4. The voters have allowed politicians to formulate policy that minimizes the role of family and community in favor of increasing the role of the federal government.
The results of these actions has caused:
1. A workforce that is not motivated to improve their lot.
2. Voters who are dependent on the government to the point where they will not support public policy that is good for the country as a whole because it may negatively affect their income in the short-term.
3. Citizens who will not look out for the needs of each other, even their own families, because there is a government bureaucracy that is supposed to do that.
4. A business environment that must consider tax & regulatory issues above sound economic decisions.
I do not believe our capitalistic society has caused a disparity in income. I believe the loss of our capitalistic society has caused it and a return to it is the solution to raise the lower incomes instead of trying to lower the top incomes. Some of the current republican candidates are pushing some of these issues.
1. Balanced budget amendment.
2. Repeal of the current tax code in favor of a flat tax.
Thanks for asking.
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