World inequality

We have no details of the inner workings of banking and tax systems of mankind of the past, but we have some ideas of how they operated. Shared wealth is a tribal concept. Works good with small bands of people. But when in history has shared wealth ever worked for any empire with more than short term results or the end of the empire? The Islam Empire was one of the biggest empires. It got that way because of fare taxes and services to all the people. We would most likely all be part of the Islam Empire today if they hadn’t changed the tax code and gave tax breaks to some of the people.
How do you expect to have a system that everyone thinks is fair? You’re not going to make everyone happy. That’s why a true flat tax is the best for the nation in the long term.
Also, have you heard that all the income taxes collected can’t even begin to pay the interest on the national debt? Think that is true?

That simple, eh? Allow me to interpret. What I think Kkwan is saying is that is a good idea to use taxes to promote less disparity of wealth.
An economic system is a system per se. and left to itself, with positive feedback and no effective negative feedback, will lead to instability. From the same wiki on negative feedback cited in my last post:
Whereas positive feedback tends to lead to instability via exponential growth or oscillation, negative feedback generally promotes stability.
This is precisely what is occurring. It is that simple. How can such an economic system be stabilized with more equitable distribution of income and wealth? From the wiki here]
Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a 2013 book by French economist Thomas Piketty. It focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the United States since the 18th century.
Central thesis:
The book's central thesis is that when the rate of return on capital (r) is greater than the rate of economic growth (g) over the long term, the result is concentration of wealth, and this unequal distribution of wealth causes social and economic instability.
Patrimonial capitalism creating an oligarchy?
The book argues that the world today is returning towards "patrimonial capitalism", in which much of the economy is dominated by inherited wealth: Their power is increasing, creating an oligarchy.
His proposals to reduce inequality:
He proposes that a progressive annual global wealth tax of up to 2%, combined with a progressive income tax reaching as high as 80%, would reduce inequality.
His proposals in chapters 14 and 15 of the book, is effective negative feedback. Reception and critique:
In addition to Winship, the economists Alan Reynolds, Justin Wolfers, James Hamilton and Gabriel Zucman claim that FT's assertions go too far. Paul Krugman noted that "anyone imagining that the whole notion of rising wealth inequality has been refuted is almost surely going to be disappointed". Emmanuel Saez, a colleague of Piketty and one of the economists cited by Giles to discredit him, stated that "Piketty's choice and judgement were quite good" and that his own research supports Piketty's thesis.
His response to criticisms can be found here] However, whether any of his proposals can or will be implemented effectively, globally, is an open question.

Sorry I haven’t read the whole thread.
What I always think when I see numbers like this is, where do they come from? I can trade stocks and make numbers get bigger, but until I sell it, it means nothing. Any stock trader knows that you watch the big stock owners of a company, if they sell a bunch of their stock, the total value of that company will also decrease. In that sense, the wealth only exists as long as those rich people continue to prop it up. Obviously they have great power and can exploit on a scale we have never known. My point is, we can’t redistribute all of that wealth, we have to actually change what “wealth” means.
When my home and several around me was destroyed by a flood, we created a lot of wealth in my area by replacing our stuff. War creates wealth. Sometimes war is necessary, that’s not the point. The point is we measure wealth in a weird way. You can look back at empires of the past and see that their wealth is now gone. You could have put a value on their castles, but now they are just rocks. It was a great tragedy for them as their wealth disappeared, but it was a great celebration for those who no longer lived under the oppression that came out of those castles. The land was still there, they were still farming it, but the soldiers weren’t getting paid anymore.
What I’m saying is, we know this now, most people in history did not. Wealth disparity has occurred many times in the past, and it always ends in violent revolution or famine or something. The opportunity this time is to dismantle the structure consciously.

Sorry I haven't read the whole thread. What I always think when I see numbers like this is, where do they come from? I can trade stocks and make numbers get bigger, but until I sell it, it means nothing. Any stock trader knows that you watch the big stock owners of a company, if they sell a bunch of their stock, the total value of that company will also decrease. In that sense, the wealth only exists as long as those rich people continue to prop it up. Obviously they have great power and can exploit on a scale we have never known. My point is, we can't redistribute all of that wealth, we have to actually change what "wealth" means. When my home and several around me was destroyed by a flood, we created a lot of wealth in my area by replacing our stuff. War creates wealth. Sometimes war is necessary, that's not the point. The point is we measure wealth in a weird way. You can look back at empires of the past and see that their wealth is now gone. You could have put a value on their castles, but now they are just rocks. It was a great tragedy for them as their wealth disappeared, but it was a great celebration for those who no longer lived under the oppression that came out of those castles. The land was still there, they were still farming it, but the soldiers weren't getting paid anymore. What I'm saying is, we know this now, most people in history did not. Wealth disparity has occurred many times in the past, and it always ends in violent revolution or famine or something. The opportunity this time is to dismantle the structure consciously.
That's true but the "conservatives" (I'll call them that instead of some other more descriptive words I might use) won't allow that to happen. They believe in capitalism--the more extreme, the better, they want no redistribition of wealth, taxes as low as possible and as few social programs as it's possible to have. (They are similar to strict libertarians). Their belief in unfettered capitalism is like a fundamentalist religion and to them the underlying philosophy is inerrant. There is only one way to run an economy, and that is pure capitalism and anything that holds it back will spell ruin to the economy. If 99% of the wealth goes to the top 1% that's as it should be because the people doing the investing should reap the rewards of their investments and if people are poor it's their own fault for not working harder and smarter. Anything else is socialism, or worse, communism. Lois

Not all conservatives (really a rather vaguely defined word) believe as such. Many conservatives, fiscal and social alike, are more moderate. But the rabidly no tax, small government types are one of the two main factions that seem to have taken over the Republican party (the other being the Christian right of course).
Also, I’ve always liked the phrase, “Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.”

From this article here]
Capitalism and it’s tendency:

Capitalism is also such an emotionally charged term that it can get in the way of rational discussion. Capitalism is not even an accurate term for modern economies, because they run as much on debt as on accumulated capital. Nor is there anything intrinsically wrong with accumulating capital (meaning wealth or savings), the problem is that it tends to aggregate to only a few people. Thus the problems are neither with markets nor with capital (savings), the problems are with unfettered markets and with concentrated ownership and control. There are various other names for the current regime. In Australia it has been called economic rationalism, in Britain Thatcherism, and in America neoconservatism, though there is little that is conservative about it. I will follow the economics profession and refer to it as neoliberalism.
Misleading general equilibrium theory of mainstream economics:
These events straightforwardly demonstrate that economies have often been far from equilibrium. It is not hard to argue, as will be done in this book, that modern economies are always far from equilibrium. In that case the mainstream theory has nothing useful to say about how economies behave. It is an irrelevant abstraction. Furthermore, we can expect the behaviour of a far-from-equilibrium economy to be radically different from that predicted by the mainstream theory, as different as wild horses from a pendulum. The mainstream theory is not just useless, it is highly misleading.
Neoliberalism:
Neoliberalism has promoted competition, selfishness, conflict, inequality, and a decline in family and community cohesion. It has required us to be subservient to the economic machine, and thus to the economic warlords who run it. Despite all this, it is still failing in its primary role to provide for everyone’s material needs, now and into the future.
Communist socialism:
On the other hand the communist version of socialism also required subservience to an economic machine. It promoted social uniformity that stifled spontaneity and creativity, and it seems to have been even less able to provide for material needs.
The nature of economic systems:
Readily available evidence shows economies are full of instabilities, and thus are very far from equilibrium. The internal instabilities render them unpredictable in detail, and thus impossible to manage with a five-year plan.
The better way of the systems approach:
In the latter half of the twentieth century new insights from diverse fields like engineering, biology, physics, ecology and neuroscience converged to form a new field called systems science. Systems science is about the behaviour of collections of interacting components.
Managing the wild-horse economic system:
If we study the behaviour of our wild-horse economies more carefully, and learn to tame them before we harness them to our wagon, we might find we progress more quickly, with much less fuss, and in the direction we really want to go, instead of into the ditch — or over a precipice.
Regulating unfettered markets with effective positive and negative feedback:
Instead of just trying to ameliorate the results of minimally-regulated markets, we can recognise that markets might be managed by adjusting the internal interactions that control their behaviour. This can be done using financial incentives and disincentives, and some regulation. We can thus aspire to manage markets so they don’t produce excessive concentrations of power and wealth, and so they deliver quality of life for everyone, rather than just delivering more and more stuff, inequitably distributed. We can conceive of a managed-market economy that is intrinsically more stable, less inequitable and more democratic than previous systems.
Not all conservatives (really a rather vaguely defined word) believe as such. Many conservatives, fiscal and social alike, are more moderate. But the rabidly no tax, small government types are one of the two main factions that seem to have taken over the Republican party (the other being the Christian right of course). Also, I've always liked the phrase, "Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor."
Fortunately not all the rich are the same. Also, there has never before been such a large middle class. Much of what I've seen in my 50 plus years is an attack on the middle class, and lately they (the rich) seem to be winning. But it's not that simple, it's one thing to keep people oppressed, it's another to educate them, give them good union jobs, then change the rules. So we now also have a very unique situation of a highly educated lower class with lots of people who are formerly middle class or maybe one generation removed from it.
You need to go no further than reading Shock Doctrine. It's all explained there. And I would only add, just because Fascism/Nazism was defeated in WW2 doesn't mean they were eradicated. The remaining corporate fascists and their underlying conservative philosophy realized how not to proceed, or rather, learned that to proceed you need to package your plan up as patriotic, religious/righteous, and charitable. Seriously, read Shock Doctrine.
Folks, just stop what you're doing and read Confessions of an Economic Hitman. It's all there in black and white. The current global situation was by design.
You need to go no further than reading Shock Doctrine. It's all explained there. And I would only add, just because Fascism/Nazism was defeated in WW2 doesn't mean they were eradicated. The remaining corporate fascists and their underlying conservative philosophy realized how not to proceed, or rather, learned that to proceed you need to package your plan up as patriotic, religious/righteous, and charitable. Seriously, read Shock Doctrine.
Folks, just stop what you're doing and read Confessions of an Economic Hitman. It's all there in black and white. The current global situation was by design. I'm sure those are great books. But rarely does one book sum up the whole story. Either there are critiques of it, or you the reader are synthesizing other things you've read and that one book is just helping pull them together.
Not all conservatives (really a rather vaguely defined word) believe as such. Many conservatives, fiscal and social alike, are more moderate. But the rabidly no tax, small government types are one of the two main factions that seem to have taken over the Republican party (the other being the Christian right of course). Also, I've always liked the phrase, "Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor."
And another one. Corporations do everything they can to socialize their losses and privatize their profits. And many of them do that very well, including the banks and stock companies that caused the 2008 financial crash. Loie
You need to go no further than reading Shock Doctrine. It's all explained there. And I would only add, just because Fascism/Nazism was defeated in WW2 doesn't mean they were eradicated. The remaining corporate fascists and their underlying conservative philosophy realized how not to proceed, or rather, learned that to proceed you need to package your plan up as patriotic, religious/righteous, and charitable. Seriously, read Shock Doctrine.
Folks, just stop what you're doing and read Confessions of an Economic Hitman. It's all there in black and white. The current global situation was by design. I'm sure those are great books. But rarely does one book sum up the whole story. Either there are critiques of it, or you the reader are synthesizing other things you've read and that one book is just helping pull them together.I agree, it is rare. But this is one of those rare cases. Don't take my word for it. I read Shock Doctrine first, awhile ago. In retrospect I wish I'd read Confessions first. It provides the underlying explanation. Shock Doc provides more of the actual details. And once you read these, so SO much of global current events makes sense. The one thing I can't quite figure out is how 911 fits in. It fits the pattern/MO perfectly, but I'm just not sure how. Was it Disaster Capitalism applied to the US, or was it revenge for DC being applied to various Middle Eastern countries, including possibly Saudi Arabia.

Mike Y:

That’s why a true flat tax is the best for the nation in the long term.
What you are missing here is that fact that all wage income is taxed at the same level. If we both make 50,000 we are taxed the same level; it is only when your wages raise above certain thresholds that your tax rate increase, and then only on the part of the wage above the threshold. Also capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than wage income. Thirdly the lower your true income the higher percentage of it that goes to sales tax, property tax, gasoline tax etc.
Mike Y:
That’s why a true flat tax is the best for the nation in the long term.
What you are missing here is that fact that all wage income is taxed at the same level. If we both make 50,000 we are taxed the same level; it is only when your wages raise above certain thresholds that your tax rate increase, and then only on the part of the wage above the threshold. Also capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than wage income. Thirdly the lower your true income the higher percentage of it that goes to sales tax, property tax, gasoline tax etc.
What we could have is a graduated tax, which is what we have now, but based on a flat percentage of income, no matter where it comes from, earned income or investment income. I maintain that if we had such a system everyone's tax burden would decline except for the super wealthy who can now manage to escape most taxes everyone else pays. It would be fairer, easier to understand and infinitely easier to administer. But the fly in the ointment is that Congress could no longer sell their votes to the highest bidder, those who have the money to keep the status quo and get tax relief for themselves--which is why such a plan would never pass Congress. They'd have too much to lose if we had a fair tax system. Lois
We have no details of the inner workings of banking and tax systems of mankind of the past, but we have some ideas of how they operated. Shared wealth is a tribal concept. Works good with small bands of people. But when in history has shared wealth ever worked for any empire with more than short term results or the end of the empire? The Islam Empire was one of the biggest empires. It got that way because of fare taxes and services to all the people. We would most likely all be part of the Islam Empire today if they hadn't changed the tax code and gave tax breaks to some of the people. How do you expect to have a system that everyone thinks is fair? You’re not going to make everyone happy. That’s why a true flat tax is the best for the nation in the long term. Also, have you heard that all the income taxes collected can’t even begin to pay the interest on the national debt? Think that is true?
A well-designed graduated percentage tax would not change that. If we can't pay it now, having a rational tax system will not make it any worse. Something else will have to be worked out. The convoluted, unfair income tax system we have now doesn't make the debt any more likely to be paid. Fixing the income tax system will have no effect on the national debt. It also won't cure cancer. But neither will the present system that hurts millions of people in so many ways. Lois

The news about this poor woman who found 540 $ in her KFC bag and gave them back must be true.

Every one congratulates her so much for her honesty, that the news reached the French social network.

What makes me angry is that the family has a debt of 2 M $ as the husband is fighting cancer. that’s inhuman.

And some date to explain that welfare state is an unnecessary and immoral system !!!

https://nypost.com/2022/09/17/joann-oliver-returns-543-she-found-under-her-kfc-sandwich/

Wow, lots of names in 2015 no longer here . Shows you how far CFI forum has fallen

LL and some others are still around. I even speak (message, actually) with some. CFI hasn’t fallen at all. It’s just changed, grown, and not everyone wants to be here day in and day out like the old days. Many forums are like that now days, not just this one. Forums are a dying breed, just like email groups.

But, then, you’re here.

Coincidence that this thread popped up and then:

Last year, the wealth share of the top 1% “rose for a second year running,” Credit Suisse said in its report. Those individuals accounted for 45.6% of the world’s wealth in 2021.

Sometimes I hear a theory about how the biggest problem with inequality in America is that the poor and middle class don’t see the 1% as their enemy because Americans admire the rich and strive to be like them – like that’s a bad thing.

I disagree it’s the main cause of problems but it’s definitely accurate to say Americans want to be rich in a way most other Westerners don’t really consider.