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Thread: Financial inequality?

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Financial inequality?

    After hearing and reading about the wealth inequality for some time, I found the following information www.MauldinEconomics.com quite enlightening.

    "Let’s start with some good news. In 1820 some 94% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. By 1990 the figure was 35%, and in 2015 it was just 9.6%. Forty percent of those who remain impoverished live in just two countries, Nigeria and India, both of which are growing rapidly and will see their extreme poverty significantly decrease in the next 20 years."

    If this change is true and I have no reason to disbelieve it, it is a remarkable change especially in the last 20 years. Have we lost sight of the tremendous improvements that have taken place in society? Are we asking for too much? When will it be enough?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    While I agree that the reductions in extreme poverty are great that doesn't mean that everything is awesome. In the US the republicans have been successfully dismantling the middle class ever since that gawdawful president we had for most of the 80's. Prior to his reign 70% of wealth increases from increased productivity went to the bottom 90% economically. You know, the people actually being productive. Since then roughly 100% of the continued increases in wealth have gone o the top 10%. The wealthy have been incredibly successful in their class warfare.

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    I'd say the world is having considerable success with the low hanging fruit. If you can save someone from starvation for $1 a day that's more doable than solving some other problems like ending wars that spawn refugee crises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    While I agree that the reductions in extreme poverty are great that doesn't mean that everything is awesome. In the US the republicans have been successfully dismantling the middle class ever since that gawdawful president we had for most of the 80's. Prior to his reign 70% of wealth increases from increased productivity went to the bottom 90% economically. You know, the people actually being productive. Since then roughly 100% of the continued increases in wealth have gone o the top 10%. The wealthy have been incredibly successful in their class warfare.
    I think the situation is a little more complicated than "Reagan dunnit". You have to consider the roles of automation, more robust foreign competition and any number of other factors as well.

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    It is good, and still I am tired of all the campaigns to get food or other basic items to people, especially children, when most of the people have jobs. So it is good to know, and makes me wonder about our human existence in general. Too early for deep thoughts!

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I took a look at the linked article. I wonder how they defined "extreme poverty" (they didn't, really). I also wonder if they're using the same definition that would have been used in the 19th Century. I'm also unclear on why the author believes that high-population-growth countries like India will somehow find a way by themselves to lift all those boats with higher standards of living.

    With misleading phrases like
    the poor are getting richer faster than any other group
    , I'm dubious. When you start low, it doesn't take much of an improvement to bump up the rate of increase. Someone earning $30 a month now making $60 a month has seen his/her pay double! But is $60 a month much of anything? And will it remain something as everyone's pay goes up? Or does the manufacturing of goods simply move to countries where people still earn $30 a month?

    In fact, much of the rest of that article seems to spend a fair amount of type on how this eradication of "extreme" poverty is a good thing for people who live in less-developed countries (it is) -- but it and the robotic revolution really are going to sting the poor in more-developed countries. Robots don't care where they live. Tougher days for the 90% lie ahead.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    I agree that they don't list their definition of extreme poverty. Also while doubling ones income can have an effect, it has a larger effect in not only various countries, but even in parts of those countries. I read about scammers in India a while back (don't remember through what site, this or another), and how their income/stress/etc. levels changed working in cities in India, verses real rural sections where income was much lower.

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