- 10/19/2015 8:15:45 AM
This is part of the problem, there will always be a gap. The question is how wide that gap can be before your society is damaged/broken because of it. I have no doubts that some people will say that it's too wide now and that it has already caused irreparable damage. I think we're at a unique global position right now that we can see how these gaps affect various societies. The EU bailout of Greece for example shows us how rough things can get when there is even a threat of financial collapse.
- by kq4ym, Data Doctor
- 10/18/2015 10:57:54 AM
A good point, the swings of millions of dollars to the rich don't necessary make a lot of difference, but a swing of few hundred could be huge for the poorest fifth. Now, that we know the numbers fairly well, the question is what to be done if anything about it? Should there be some equalization of the incomes, or should some analysis be done on say the possible standard of living of the five groups and maybe that would make some interesting discussiion?
- 10/14/2015 8:20:09 AM
I have seen graphs that display wealth this way and I agree that Robert could probably clean those up and make them easier to understand at a glance, he does have a knack for that. I think income levels tend to be harder to nail down as they raise though. A lot of the wealth is theoretical since it is held in assets that have fluctuating values. One day could make a swing of a few million dollars in the case of a Buffet or Gates.
- by SethBreedlove, Data Doctor
- 10/13/2015 12:52:20 PM
@ Robert, good point. Stocks are not considered income unless their is a capital gain.
When it comes to income inequality and taxes, I believe the U.S. needs an attitude change when it comes to its politics. We are politically an all or nothing media machine. Instead of an all or nothing "Raise taxes" or "Lower taxes, we need to think of what is right for right now and that nothing is permanent. We can change something and if it doesn't work out we can change it back.
It's this all or nothing attidute that has us deadlocked on many issues.
- by Jamescon, Editor
- 10/13/2015 9:54:06 AM
Robert did a nice job making the income gap understandable. One thing that's worth noting is that this involves only part of the wealth disparity. It doesn't cover net worth. When people say that 90+ percent of the wealth is owned by (pick your figure) 2, 5 or 10% of the population, that's a telling number.
Look at something like the Forbes list of the wealthiest people, and you quickly see that most of their money came from either businesses that they started many years ago (Gates, Buffett, Ellison, Carlos Slim, et al) or what they inherited (WalMart's Waltons, et al). There wealth isn't from what they were paid last year but from the way assets grew over time, even after they left active participation in their companies.
I'd love to see what Robert could do with that type of data.
- by tomsg, Data Doctor
- 10/13/2015 9:24:14 AM
@tomsg, I think you've got a very good point, I'm not sure types of income are accounted for but I suspect that would skew the top more than it would the bottom income brackets. I guess this is one of the problems with sets of data in general. Sometimes you don't have what you need to get answers to the questions you have.