Wealth Inequality in America

Check out these 15 charts on the subject of wealth and inequality in America.

28 Comments

Filed under Economics

28 responses to “Wealth Inequality in America

  1. This is surprising how?

    The result shown in the various graphs, charts, whatever one wishes to call the visual aids, is inevitable in a “capitalist” society, much as a monopoly (or oligopoly, in some cases) is inevitable in a totally unregulated market. I’m not speaking of the theoretical “free market” when I refer to a totally unregulated market. The two are most certainly distinct in ways that indeed make a difference.

    Do I want “socialism”? Not as that term is widely bandied about, and perjoratively used. However, it becomes apparent to me that as we progress throughout time, one’s expectation of success (as currently construed by many, i.e., who dies with the most toys) is more accurately predicted by one’s choice of parents rather than upon one’s individual merit.

    • Great post and comment!
      This is the recurring theme on KANSAS MEDIOCRITY.
      Being poor is not a sin, but it is damned hard at times.

      6176, you are correct AGAIN.
      The ultimate end result of unbridled capitalism is ONE huge retailer, bank, auto dealer, etc.

    • Freebird1971

      Am I wealthy? Depends on how you define the word. If you are talking about money and material then no I’m not wealthy. I am able to meet my needs and indulge some of my wants. But if you are talking about the love,care and concern of family that is shown daily then I’m a very wealthy man. The material wealth can be taken away or lost. The non material wealth is something only you can lose,no goverment or agency can take it from you. I would rather be wealthy in the non material sense,so I don’t spend much time worrying about “wealth inequality”.

      • The wealth of this country, and in fact most of the planet, were locked away in derivatives, which were “owned” by a few. We saw where that led us.

        When wealth inequality becomes too wide for the masses to gain a foothold in it, as it is now, there will be revolt. The problem is the propaganda machine is controlled by the wealthy, so they can keep class warfare going as long as they want via their right-wing control of the media. Point? When has Fox ever been fair and balanced?

  2. When one chooses their parents poorly 😉 there are fewer opportunities for achieving more than a comfortable living, and even that is subjective. Often those who work hardest are paid poorly so accusing them of lack of industry or laziness to explain their financial struggles isn’t fair or honest.

  3. Of course tax cuts are the obvious cure! In fact tax cuts are the cure for everything up to and including the common cold.

    /sarcasm

  4. itolduso

    “Often those who work hardest are paid poorly”

    I would change that slightly to

    “often those who do the most physical labor, are the poorest paid”

    A true statement. One I reminded my children plenty of times of. My son once complained about working at a fast food place. He said it was waay to hard of work for what he got paid. I told him to remember that as he makes decisions.

    The simple fact is, those who work at physical labor are often the poorest paid is because they are the most easily replaced.

    “working” includes many endeavors, including flying airplanes, designing airplanes, fashion design, teachers, etc. Many work very hard at their jobs, with long hours…

    They get paid better because it is harder to replace them.

    • wicked

      Not necessarily.

    • “often those who do the most physical labor, are the poorest paid”

      A generalization.

      A few days ago we had a conversation about women working outside the home. Women who have chosen to devote themselves to raising their children aren’t easily replaced and although some of their work is physical labor, most isn’t. I’m sure most would welcome being paid what they’re actually worth and on the basis of how difficult it would be to replace them.

      Some who labor the hardest physically are well paid. Those who work in Wichita’s airplane manufacturing plants earn above average wages. Waiters and waitresses in some restaurants are tipped very well for their physical labors. Nurses are usually well compensated and there are physical demands to many who perform nursing duties. Onandon.

      Some secretaries, administrative assistants, etc. work much harder than the ‘boss,’ although their duties don’t necessarily require physical labors, yet they still earn much less. Sometimes they even pay the price or bear the consequences of poor decisions made by the ‘boss.’

  5. Does society value some labors more than others? Are some jobs held in higher esteem and those who perform them treated with a higher level of dignity than people who perform other duties?

  6. itolduso

    “often those who do the most physical labor, are the poorest paid”

    A generalization.

    *******

    You are correct, which is why I used the word “often”

    “Some secretaries, administrative assistants, etc. work much harder than the ‘boss,’ and earn much less. Sometimes they even pay the price or bear the consequences of poor decisions made by the ‘boss.’”

    And some don’t.

    “People are people no matter what job they perform or what earnings the job pays, ”

    That would be correct. I have never put anyone down for the “job” that they do. Nor their pay.
    Honesty, integrity, and human decency knows no particular paygrade of persons any more than any other.

    However, in general, general labor pays less. Something to consider when choosing career paths, which is what I noted to my son.

    • Yet you found it necessary to change my generalized statement: “Often those who work hardest are paid poorly”. Why?

      I agree with the admonishments you gave your children. Education usually gives one more options. In fact, your whole post makes good sense. The only part I don’t understand is why you felt you needed to start by changing my post instead of simply adding your good sensible thoughts.

  7. itolduso

    Does society value some labors more than others? Are some jobs held in higher esteem and those who perform them treated with a higher level of dignity than people who perform other duties?

    Obviously so. Surgeons are held in higher esteem than those who mow lawns.

    Used Car salesman get none. Politicians only a little more so.

    Facts of life.
    Answer? Do what you like, regardless of what others think of your choice of “labors”

  8. I’ve known some really happy people who make their living from ways that may never make them wealthy but do give them the opportunity to wake up each morning looking forward to the day’s ‘work.’ I think you are absolutely correct when you say the answer is doing what you like.

    • Freebird1971

      My son had always wanted to be a firefighter,it was his dream job. After the Marines he got on at Boeing in their fire dept and was miserable. After 3 years he was hired by the city,in taking the job he also took about a $10/hr paycut,but he truly loves his job and can’t wait to go to work. His attitude is so I make less money but I love what I do.

  9. itolduso

    “Yet you found it necessary to change my generalized statement: “Often those who work hardest are paid poorly”. Why?”

    I didn;t change your statement at all. I made my own

    “I would change that slightly to

    “often those who do the most physical labor, are the poorest paid”

    Why? because it is more definitive. I have known Surgeons that worked harder than ditchdiggers. I have known business owners that worked harder than ANY of their employees. “working hard” is way too broad. I changed it to suit what I was saying, and to what I believe to be the truth. I didn;t try and change your words at all, I never put words in your mouth and declared them to be yours, I never made any assumptions about what you said, except one…. I believe my words were more definitive.

  10. My Dad was raised on a farm, lived his whole adult life in the city where he earned a living and raised his family. When he retired he moved back to the country, raised a huge garden and gave away lots of fresh produce. One time I asked him why he didn’t sell some of it. He said because if he took money for it, it would be a job. If word got around he had fresh produce for sale someone might knock at his door too early or late or at a time inconvenient. He lived happily, worked very hard and gave away produce until he died. It wasn’t ever a job, it was what he enjoyed.

  11. itolduso

    I’ve known some really happy people who make their living from ways that may never make them wealthy but do give them the opportunity to wake up each morning looking forward to the day’s ‘work

    That is waaay more important in the end, then financial renumeration. I have known lots of people who had money, and were not any happier than the next guy. Conversely, I have known lots of people who had no money, and were unhappy about that as well. Happiness, or well being, does not come from financial gain or lost, but from within.

  12. itolduso

    Yep, I understand your Dad’s position. Once knew a guy who loved to fish, loved to take people fishing, and loved to teach people how to fish. He quit his job, bought a guideservice on a major lake. A year later he was back. Why? It became a job, and he hated it.

  13. itolduso

    Sorry you took offense. Nothing was intended

  14. 6176746f6c6c65

    Taking a look at things in general, I would wonder whether it isn’t true that while a surgeon does, in fact, earn more than say a trash collector, the trash collector positively affects the lives of a greater number of people from a heath status. If so, should not the trash collector earn more than the surgeon if one bases the right to compensation upon benefit to society. We all know that the guy on the back of a trash truck doesn’t earn what a surgeon earns, but why shouldn’t he?

    Similarly, members of my chosen profession earn more than teachers; but without teachers, especially in the primary levels, there would be precious few lawyers, surgeons, accountants, engineers, et al. Thus, it seems to me that a teacher should earn more, on average, than the members of the enumerated professions based upon worth to the society as a whole.

    Plumbers (the number of which I understand to be declining daily) do more for society as a whole than do many other occupations. With the advent of modern plumbing, sewers, etc., the incidence of diseases such as cholera, has dramatically declined in the “developed” world to the benefit of general longevity and quality of life. Plumbers are well compensated compared to many other trades, but are they not underpaid?

    Questions for thought and any discussion wanted.

    • itolduso

      I don;t think so. It also has to do with education, training, and dedication to one’s craft, etc.

      I can “hire” a trashman that will do an adequate job much easier than I can a neurosurgeon.

      And plumbers make a LOT of money.. At least, the last time I needed one they did

  15. itolduso

    and I’ve known a lot of “broke” attorneys

  16. Everyone knows I think teachers should be paid waaaay more.

    It wasn’t long ago women in particular were limited in what jobs they could aspire to — teacher, nurse, secretary, waitress, domestic. I think in those days teacher and nurse may have attracted some of our brightest and best women. I don’t think that’s as true today. But look at the low pay, look at the work conditions… Do some who would do the best for our future generations not teach because of the limited pay?

  17. As an owner of some brand new plumbing I can tell you plumbers are well paid. They do work hard, and it’s not pleasant work, but they are well compensated!

  18. Don’t we all know some educated idiots and some uneducated people with brilliant minds?