Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Distributed' income

Toward the end of a Thomas Edsall analysis of the "center-left" vs. "center-right" arguments, he has this paragraph about Lawrence Summers:
Summers . . . has begun to call for government policies to correct the transfer he identifies as beginning in 1979 of some $664 billion, or $600,000 per family, to the top 1 percent of the income distribution, at the expense of the bottom 80 percent, whose family incomes, Summers argues, are on average $7,000 below what they would have been had income gains been distributed equally to each percentile.
"Transfer"? "Distributed equally"? That income was never transferred or distributed, it was earned. There are many reasons for the rise in income inequality, but to begin a discussion of the income gap with the concept of income being "distributed" is to begin with a false premise.


  1. He's one of those people who thinks or pretends to think there's a finite pot of money from which we all draw, so if I earn a dollar, someone else loses a dollar. It would be ridiculous if he weren't a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON.

  2. Transfer"? "Distributed equally"? That income was never transferred or distributed, it was earned.

    here I am offering counter point, Robert, I appreciate you not banishing my posts before they reach your board and I see you really do enjoy looking at both sides of the issue, this is rare among from a "right" thinking blog

    I know some on the board consider me a troll and I suppose by some definitions I am, however I think you appreciate I bring the necessary counter point that will either strengthen your argument or change your mind, obviously, the former will happen the majority of the time, just as it does on the liberal blogs

    anyway, back to the discussion;

    Transfer"? "Distributed equally"? That income was never transferred or distributed, it was earned.

    it was not earned, that's the corporate media feeding right wing propaganda, it was redistributed

    the middle class built the roads, the water works, the electricity lines and the entire country owns these assets, I own them, you own them and arguably, the corporations own them.

    Those who acquired wealth did it using the system our predecessors invested for the future, they must pay back into that system so those that earn after us can also enjoy the same opportunity, this is called "paying your own bills", if an expense was realized by those before us then those who have acquired the most from those assets have to replenish said assets

    No, it is not zero sum, those who acquire a larger percentage of assets are required to pay into those assets disproportionately from those who are using fewer of "the commons"

    If those who acquire a higher percentage of our assets are not required to pay a that disproportionate percentage back then the economy will devolve into a robber baron economy, which by the way is exactly what the wealthy would prefer, once they received the assets of our predecessors they seem to think they shouldn't pay into that same system that allowed them their wealth in the first place.

    Those that acquired their wealth through the Reagan tax increases, (he did not lower taxes he raised them at the same time he redistributed the tax burden) were using and depleting infrastructure in the process, bridges are now falling down, water works at the end of their duty cycle with no assets to rebuild, bridges gone unprepared till they collapse, private industry allowed to build equipment like cranes without standards, failing, killing, maiming, retirement investments turned to dust

    and the list goes on, all of these necessary infrastructure assets were allowed into depletion so a few people could take those assets and look like they turned a profit, in fact they did not turn profit, they took assets that did no belong to them

    that is the counter point, the vast majority of wealth has not been earned it has been deposited at the expense of our country and her assets.

    no, "privatizing" these assets is NEVER more efficient then government, that's another corporate media myth, industry will ALWAYS charge as much as people will pay and they will ALWAYS take their golden parachutes if they can get away with it.

    the only time private industry is more efficient then government providing that service is when private industry is providing a service we either do not need or is easily obtained without industry or government

    so there is the counter point.

    the solution to our economic problem is NOT the bailout that obama climbed on board, and the "liberal" blogs were in agreement with the "right" blogs on this, we in fact do have much in common

    the bailout was a method of depositing more of our assets into the very hands that stole them in the first place, the banking industry could not keep their own house in order and it was rediculous to give them more oportunity for greed.

    the concept, "give money to lenders so they lend" gives the very people who caused the problem an oportunity to earn more profit over their own mistakes, a rediculous concept with an unacceptable overhead (private industry making more profit on public assets)

    the real solution was to take those assets and invest in real products, such newer roads, alternative fuel technology, rebuilding bridges and addressing collapsing water works before they collapse

    that would take zero overhead, we would be putting into our economy assets who's duty cycle would last another couple if generations, we would be putting people to work producing rather then telling people they can earn by investing without turning any product at all.

    so there it is, I have not proof read so I don't know how this reads yet, I know you and others will have counter points, many of you will call this "socialism", (it's not but that's another discussion) and many of you will believe I have no clue, as I believe many of you have no clue

    enjoy the weekend