The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Income Inequality Part I: A Worldwide Problem With Major US Fissure
Income inequality is not a economic phenomenon restricted to the United States.  It is a worldwide reality with inequality in some countries sitting at the high-end of the scale; surpassing indicators of other countries. In all cases except the nations of  Scandinavia and a few other nations, the less fortunate denizens of nations live vastly different lives from the wealthy.  The spectrum spans lavish opulence to overwhelming poverty and death, the numbers are stark and revealing.

Gfmag Dot Com published an interactive world map of income inequality.  The map is supported via use of the the GINI Index.

GINI index

Gini index measures the extent to which the distribution of income or consumption expenditure among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A Lorenz curve plots the cumulative percentages of total income received against the cumulative number of recipients, starting with the poorest individual or household. The Gini index measures the area between the Lorenz curve and a hypothetical line of absolute equality, expressed as a percentage of the maximum area under the line. Thus a Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality.

Wealth Distribution and Income Inequality by Country Data is from the World Bank Development Indicators.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike
Other widely used measures of economic inequality are the percentage of people living with under US$2 a day (at 2005 international prices) and the share of national income held by the wealthiest 10% of the population.
According to World Bank data, income inequality tends to be lower in Northern Europe, with countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland showing some of the world's lowest GINI coefficients. It is also surprisingly low in much less affluent countries like Afghanistan and Ethiopia. 
The highest levels of income inequality were found, in the last decade, in countries such as the Central African Republic, Honduras, Angola, Haiti, South Africa and Namibia.

In the late 2000s, Chile had the highest GINI coefficient, after taxes and transfers, among OECD member countries. The United States, Turkey and Mexico came right before it.
The highest levels of income inequality were found, in the last decade, in countries such as the Central African Republic, Honduras, Angola, Haiti, South Africa and Namibia. 
In the late 2000s, Chile had the highest GINI coefficient, after taxes and transfers, among OECD member countries. The United States, Turkey and Mexico came right before it.
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Huffington Post recently published an infographic depicting "the mind blowing" reality of US income inequity.

Pay special attention to the bottom 90 percent of Americans, who collectively held just a little more than half of the nation's wealth in 2010, all while the wealthiest 0.01 percent held nearly five percent. It's a stark divide many too easily forget.
income distribution

The infographic a very basic, yet effective exposition of information that will follow. It provides a quick reference message and it delivers the message effectively.   For those who are not averse to data and charts, there is more to come. Much of what's to come is poignant in delivering a message, "Income inequity is a problem that will eventually boil-over like an overflowing pot of your mother's Oatmeal."

There is one glaring message from the infographic that relates to current budget deliberations. We suggest among other more drastic recommendations, removal of the Social Security Cap for the Top 20% to 30% income earners. The 2013 social security (payroll tax) maximum is $113,700. The maximum has been increased annually for many years. Why are people who earning at the higher income levels 'excused' from paying a tax most of us pay throughout the year?

Why are these income earners exempt from 

payroll taxes when their 
income reaches $113,700?
Basically, income earners on left side of the infographic could pay Social Security taxes throughout the year in support of maintaining solvency of Social Security well into the 22nd Century. Higher income tax rates for the top income earners is another fair way of leveling the disparity 'playing field' while maintaining a hands-off the actual reality of income inequity. The vast majority of Americans do not resent the earnings of the uber wealthy, Those same people, however, may find the current tax rates somewhat offensive and unfair. 

Speaking in terms of fairness is not a viable option for the GOP as it smacks against its unwritten, but existential role of guardians of all things wealthy and majordomo (P) of any measure that facilitates conducting business in America. If you need an example consider Eric Cantor's persistent attacks on the Fair Labor Standards Act. (Cantor would sponsor a bill to lessen the need for companies to pay Overtime work at tine and one-half). US Citizens contribution via income taxes to Cantors $194,000 plus House Leader congressional; compensation. Do you actually believe such a measure would work for the betterment of the family, as Cantor claims? Is it possible many companies will abuse such law? I posit such law will actually work to widen American income inequity. How about a bill to improve job creation or job development. 

We are committed to our position that income inequity is a metastasized economic cancer from political policy of the early 1980s.


An unavoidable digression.
Who was president in the early 1980s?

Another consideration of 'life' handed to the middle and lower income strata: spending leading to our current debt and deficits. 

Which US Presidents contributed most to our current financial woes?
Excuse the digression, let's get back to income "trickle-down" economics.

In September 2009, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) published the following chart. If you look at the period 1982 - 1989, you will clearly see a stark reversal of "Share of the Nation's Gains going to the Top 1%." 

Business Insider's Henry Blodget published a set of screenshot graphics this past April, which shows US income inequity. The screenshots are from a video that has been widely circulated on liberal social media and on some progressive media (linked here and embedded below). Maybe just maybe the fact that neither political party will touch the issue of removing the Social Security Cap is embedded  in the reality of Blodgett's graphics and Politizane's 6:24 minute video.  We will link the Blodget piece here: America Today: 3 Million Overlords and 300 Million Serfs.

"Politizane" Exposition

If you can argue against empirical evidence of GOP policy inseminated Reagan's leadership, please do so. If you so choose to embark on such an argument, you will find you have traveled on a path frequently followed, but a path that has gold along the journey only for the nation's Top 20 to 30% (ers).  Bill Clinton's financial and economic successes may very well have been influenced foundation in Reaganomics. Clinton's policy certainly did nothing to curve the visible (trend lines) and existential income equity separation.


"Trickle Down" or "Reaganomics" continues to provide the basis for political and economic divides in the United States that will one day need a major correction.

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
All GOP financial strategy is foundational as depicted in the next chart. Foundational to US income inequity as surely as GOP policy is responsible for racial divides and an underperforming economy. While, Mitt Romney nor other GOP politicians,  strategist and surrogates dare speak the words "trickle down", their policies nonetheless have two basic components. Those components are identified in red visual aides in the chart. 

"Cut taxes and cut benefits."

Republican Economic Plan Graph

Pretty simple, eh? As simple as all things GOP: "take and do not give."
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Part II "Soon come"!

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