The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Reaganomics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reaganomics. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rand Paul Decrees You Are Suffering Income Inequity Due To "Not Working Hard"

The Eyes Depict The Soul

Huffington Post 8/09/2015
"The thing is, income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things," Paul told host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." "If people voluntarily buy more of your stuff, you'll have more money." 

Paul has proposed what he calls a "flat and fair tax," which would put a flat 14.5 percent tax on all types of income. An analysis by the Tax Foundation found that under the plan, households earning more than $1 million per year would see their after-tax incomes rise by 13 percent. Households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 per year, meanwhile, would see their after-tax income rise only by 3 percent. 

"Doesn't your plan massively increase income inequality?" Wallace asked. 

"It's a fallacious notion to say, 'Oh, rich people get more money back in a tax cut,'" Paul responded. "If you cut taxes 10 percent, 10 percent of a million is more than 10 percent of a thousand dollars. So, obviously, people who pay more in taxes will get more back.""We all end up working for people who are more successful than us," Paul went on, "and that's a good thing, that more money will be back in the economy."
And therein lies the Republican answer to an obvious economic problem that beset the nation in the early 1980s. Who served in the Oval Office between 1981 through the late 1980s? Hint: the nation's 40th US President promulgated and nourished an economic theory that without question led to the current income inequality as surely as he sold arms to Iran for hostages and to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Linked for those too young to recall or for the political novice. 

Ronald Reagan and his adaptation of Paul Harvey's Trickle- Down Supply Side economics: Reaganomics. 

In 2014, The New Yorker's John Cassidy published a piece with six charts based on noted economist Thomas Piketty's position on Reaganomics.

Piketty’s Inequality Story in Six Charts


If you read the Cassidy piece you have a greater understanding of the scope and depth of Rand Paul's lack of acumen regarding matters of income inequality. Moreover, and more likely Paul is spewing common GOP strategy mantra when pushed to answer question that no politician can effectively answer. In much more simple terms Paul is doing what he and his Dad do best: spew inane verbiage while sharing undiluted manure  to their listeners. 

Now, think about Paul's remarks again.
"The thing is, income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things," 
Does the following graphics validate or refute Paul's asinine and insensitive remarks? Look closely at the Top 1% red trend-line and pay particular attention the time period fer 1976.

If you actually need more credible data to understand Rand Paul is as empty a suit as the GOP can muster, follow the PowerPoint slides from the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Learn about the U.S. household income distribution as a jumping-off point for understanding income inequality. (Larger version)

Additional FRBSF resource information
"The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States." FRBSF Video: Economics in Person (June 28, 2012).

"Rising U.S. Wage Inequality: Whither the Middle Class?" FRBSF Video: Economics in Person (June 28, 2012).

I doubt from his teen years forward Donald Trump never word as hard as the construction workers who now build his buildings. He cannot have worked as hard as his kitchen workers at his various failed casino enterprises. Additionally, there is no way Paul's comments stand to logic when we compare compensation levels of CEOs and pay scales of the vast majority of the CEO's employees.

Paul should be forced to address the lack of support for increasing the minimum wage as a matter of GOP policy. Maybe he should be forced to address gender pay inequity for 53 percent of the nation's a workforce: women. And, considering weak remarks regarding taxation, he should be forced to provide more definitive answers as to why the GOP refuses to increase taxes for the wealthy.

While inception income inequity predates the Bush "Dubya" years by two decades, all members of the GOP should be forced to view the following chart on a daily basis. There Great Bush Recession probably resulted in part from the vestige of Trickle-down GOPism.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Income Disparity: Food Fast Style (How About Some Higher Wagers With That CEO Pay?)

One of the nation's leading fast food chains offers the perfect case of income disparity.  In 2012,  Bloomberg published a piece with a 44 year old 20 year MacDonald's employee as its underlying human story. 

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Tyree Johnson, a 20-year McDonald's employee making minimum
wage, stands for a photo outside of his home, the Wilson Men's Hotel, 
in Chicago. 

Johnson would need about a million hours of work -- or more than a century on the clock -- to earn the $8.75 million that McDonald’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, paid then-CEO Jim Skinner last year. Johnson’s work flipping burgers and hoisting boxes of french fries, like millions of other jobs in low-wage industries, helps explain why income inequality grew after the 2007-2009 recession ended.

The Fast Food industry lobbies against raising the minimum wage while lavishly compensating CEOs in ever spiraling ratios (to employees). 

If you need a visual I remind of a photographs that went viral as the owner of Papa John's Pizza went public with support for Mitt Romney and publicly threatened employees against support for the Affordable Care Act.
 In April of this year DEMOS Dot Org reported study results that should alarm any American.  Alarm that would be exasperated if we think in terms of the jobs base associated with fast food and other minimum. 

Key Findings
Analysis of US company-level pay disparity shows that Accommodation and Food Services is the most unequal sector in the American economy, driven by extreme inequality within the fast food industry. 
  • Accommodation and Food Services had a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 543-to-1 in 2012. Over the period from 2000 to 2012 the average ratio was 332-to-1, 44 percent higher than the sector with the next-highest compensation ratio. 
  • In 2012, the compensation of fast food CEOs was more than 1,200 times the earnings of the average fast food worker. Proxy disclosures recently released by fast food companies reveal that the ratio remained above 1,000-to-1 in 2013.
Pay disparity in the fast food industry is a result of two factors: escalating payments to corporate CEOs and stagnant poverty-level wages received by typical workers in the industry.  
  • Fast food CEOs are some of the highest paid workers in America. The average CEO at fast food companies earned $23.8 million in 2013, more than quadruple the average from 2000 in real terms. 
  • Fast food workers are the lowest paid in the economy. The average hourly wage of fast food employees is $9.09, or less than $19,000 per year for a full-time worker, though most fast food workers do not get full-time hours. Their wages have increased just 0.3 percent in real dollars since 2000.
The DEMOS article is literally a must read for anyone interested in the depths and scope of growing income disparity. It is particularly germane for those interested in industry-to-industry worker to CEO pay ratios. 

Let's take a look at Food Service and then move to a more comprehensive table for the DEMOS piece.

A table that spans industries: linked.

We will closet out linkage to DEMOs via this last graphic.
Corporate shareholders and Board directors will ensure the CEO is compensated as the data reflects. There is no rollback of "compensation opulence." Moreover, I have not read one author or publishing team that espouses executive compensation rollback. The salient point is why not allow fast food workers to unionize and why not pay base level workers at a much higher rate of pay? It is a simple proposition that once established will assimilate into business operations as well as profit and loss considerations as readily as a new menu item.

While the major shareholders and board of directors ensure financial rewards of the CEO, who is looking after the bottom 30% (ers) who service as the basis of our economy? Relief for the everyday worker will have to come from the Democratic Party and American progressive and left leaning independents.

I posit disparity in income between the CEO and workers is yet another manifestation of Supply-side/Trickle-down economics (AKA Reaganomics). Reaganomics: the very backbone of all GOP economic policy and yet another danger of handing the GOP the US Senate, and worse yet the presidency in 2016.

More On Topic Information: Huffington Post


Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Wattree Chronicles Explores The Swindling GOP!

Re-Blog from the Wattree Chronicles




In 1921 -- eight years before the great depression -- Republicans took over the helm of this nation for 12 years. During that time there were three Republican administrations, the first of which was the administration of Warren G. Harding. History remembers Harding's administration for one thing more than anything other -- scandal. It was during Harding's presidency that the Teapot Dome Scandal erupted. His administration was considered the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States -- until Nixon's, then Reagan's, and finally Bush's.

Next, in 1923, came Calvin Coolidge, the president that Ronald Reagan is said to have most admired. Coolidge's policies of large tax cuts, allowing business a free-rein, and his encouragement of stock speculation contributed greatly to the impending stock market crash and the great depression that was to come.

Then in 1929 Herbert Hoover came to power. During his administration the stock market crashed, starting the great depression. In spite of the fact that by 1933 the unemployment rate was at 33.3% with 16 million people out of work, the Republican, Hoover, just sat, thinking that the economy would eventually rejuvenate itself. During Hoover's administration 15,000 WWI veterans marched on Washington demanding that they be paid what they were owed by the government. Hoover responded by calling in federal troops to throw these ex-servicemen off government property.

Finally in 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a liberal democrat, was elected overwhelmingly. He immediately surrounded himself with a group of the finest minds in the country, including Columbia professors Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Rexford G. Tugwell, and Raymond Moley, known at the time as the "Brain Trust." After assembling these men and others he went about the business of developing a" New Deal" for the working class people of this country.

The New Deal had two components -- one to help the economy to recover from the effects of the great depression, and a second component to give relief to the American people and to insure that they were never be placed in a position of total destitution again. To help heal the economy Roosevelt created programs that regulated business, controlled inflation, and brought about price stabilization; to bring relief to the people he signed The National Labor Relations Act which guaranteed workers the right to collective bargaining, and he created the Social Security Administration to guarantee workers some sort of income once they became too old to work. He also signed the Fair Labor Standards Act which protected workers rights and set a minimum wage for workers.

With his New Deal in place Franklin Delano Roosevelt, this "bleeding heart liberal", not only led this country out of the worst, Republican generated, crisis that this country has ever faced, but went on to lead the free world in victory over Hitler in WWII. He then ushered in the most sustained prosperity that the world has ever known.

One would think that conservatives would have seen the light, but their passion to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower classes seems to supersede all logic. Therefore, from the moment that the New Deal went into place, conservatives have been determined to dismantle it. The closest they've come to succeeding started during the Reagan administration with Supply-Side Economics, or, "Reaganomics" -- and the battle is currently raging in Washington D.C. as we speak.

Supply- Side Economics was a scheme hatch by U.S.C. economist Arthur Laffer and the Reagan crowd which was supposed to cut the deficit and balance the budget. The theory behind Reaganomics was ostensibly, if you cut taxes for business and people in the upper tax brackets, and then deregulated business of such nuisances as safety regulations and environmental safeguards, the beneficiaries would invest their savings into creating new jobs. In that way the money would eventually "trickle down" to the rest of us. The resulting broadened tax base would not only help to bring down the deficit, but also subsidize the tremendously high defense budget. When the plan was first floated, even George Bush, Reagan's vice president to be, called it "voodoo economics."


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Income Inequity: As Dangerous To The Nation As Some External Threats

President Obama referenced this data during a recent tour around the country. The GOP called the president's tour a campaign tour, we considered it interacting with the people on issues that matter most.  The relevancy of the chart comes to light in just a bit.
We at the TPI written worn-out many keyboards on screeds related to income inequality. Our belief,  the nation is now seeing the full rotten-fruit of income disparity planted by Reagan's "supply-side economics" or "trickle-down economics" if that rolls through the grey matter more easily.

Media Matters has published a piece regarding the lack of media coverage of issues related to growing income inequity. The significance of the piece cannot be overstated.  If we are given opportunity to educate ourselves, we become an informed populace and informed voters can improve life in the United States.  Simply watching until the inequity becomes a matter of revolution is unacceptable. Or worse, inattention condemns future generations to lives of virtual servitude. Servitude which by policy and practice is leading to an undeniable plutocracy. 

We will visit the Media Matters piece after a brief journey through excerpts from Jobeconomics.  

In November 2012,  Jobeconomics published a piece that not only echoes many sources regarding income disparity/inequity, the piece lays-out the issue from definition of income brackets through irrefutable details of the GOP economic failures. Economic failure for the middle and lower income strata; quite the contrary for upper income people. 

The data that gets most political and media attention is from the US Census Bureau’s Income Inequality Historical Tables[5].  The Census Bureau reports historical income inequality data in current dollars (not adjusted for inflation) and inflation adjusted dollars.
The US Historical Income Inequality chart was created by Jobenomics using Census 2011 dollars (adjusted for inflation) over the last 45 years.  Over the last 4 ½ decades, the bottom 95% of US households have not made significant income gains.  The top 5% average household income increased from $111,866 in 1967 (note: unadjusted 1967 household income for the top 5% was $19,000) to $186,000 in 2011 for a gain of 66%, or 1.5% per year— significant but certainly not great.  To get to great numbers, one must use top 1% or top 0.1% data that is addressed below.
 Here is the same chart showing current dollars that are not adjusted for inflation.   In current dollars the top 5% increased their average household income by 879% ($19,000 in 1967 to $186,000 in 2011) as opposed 66% ($111,866 in 1967 to $186,000 in 2011) using 2011 Dollars that were adjusted for inflation.  Jobenomics believes that inflation adjusted dollars give more of an apples-to-apples comparison, than non-adjusted current dollar comparisons.
Jobenomics created the Top 1% chart using the most recent bipartisan US Congressional Budget Office report[6], updated August 2012 (note: the US Census Bureau does not report on the top 1%).  The chart shows that the top 1% far exceeds all other taxpayer incomes.  In 2009 Dollars, the top 1% earned an average after-tax income of $886,700 down from $1,120,500 a year before the recession.  The CBO also reports that there are 1.1 million top 1% households out of a total of 117.6 million US households, and that their share of total after-tax income was 11.5%.  In other words, the top 1% represents 1% of all households and earns 11.5% of total US income.
See more

Now for a look at how media appears to avoid the issue.  

Media Matters....

Media Remain Silent As Inequality Reaches Landmark High

Blog ››› ››› ALBERT KLEINE

New research shows that the gap between the rich and poor in the United States in 2012 rose at the fastest rate since 1928. This revelation comes at a time when television and print media outlets largely underreport economic inequality. 
According to research from economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics, and Oxford University, in 2012, incomes for those in the top 1 percent of earners rose by roughly 20 percent. According to the Associated Press, the share of income captured by the wealthiest was the highest since 1928, a year before the onset of the Great Depression . 
The remaining 99 percent of earners, meanwhile, saw a 1 percent increase in income. 
The research findings reinforce previous warnings from economists that rising income inequality poses a threat to economic well-being.

Media Matters article teaser...


The lack of media coverage of the growing disparity is literally inexcusable.

If media avoids the issue, people have no opportunity to explore growing income inequity. 

If we are not aware of a problem, it is impossible to address the problem.  

If an entity wants to advance an agenda with little interference from the masses, what is the best way to proceed?  The answer is simple: 

"Keep the problem under wraps and restrict understanding or knowledge of the problem, thus keeping the problem in a closet."

I learned many years ago, "Information is only as good as how you use it."  If we ignore the growing disparity, desperate measures may one day come forth. 

People are like that, yes they are. 

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.
Read more
(Posted Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike)
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.


Friday, August 3, 2012

A Morning of News..Jobs Report, Media Silliness, False Mantra, Reality Checks........

.....and one dweeb even mentioned Reaganomics (see video below). REAGANOMICS!  Romney is chopping at the bits to get another round of Reaganomics as basic US economic policy.  

Herewith is an example of Reaganomics (income disparity).

I am not excited about adding to middle class misery by showing how Reaganomics and the Father of Modern Conservatism started deficit spending that has not eased one bit since 1980, but I have little choice. We must also remember, the second most deleterious Administration regarding the deficit was that of George W. Bush.  Well, after the break a chart related to spending.