You need to look at the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum to find egregious welfare abuses. Poor people buying cheetos should be the least of your concerns.
Just a point to make here. No one is saying that SNAP recipients have to shop at one of the high-priced organic places. It's just dismaying, standing in line trying to figure out how to feed your family on a budget, with no extras, and the person in front of you has all manner of snack foods and junk food, and pays for it with food stamps. There should be a limit to the TYPES of food that can be purchased with food stamps - meat, veggies, starches and the like. I have even seen people go into the Kangaroo, and pay for a coke and a bag of Cheetos with food stamps. THAT is abuse, it's widespread, and does need to be addressed.
It is a terrible shame when the governor cannot show up to a meeting in Columbia to hear what "the people" have to say. It is a shame when you cannot shedule an appointment to discuss the issues with her. So, Ms. governor of SC may I talk to you now? Susan Singleton Gilbert SC
I agree! A federal income tax structure where all adult Americans contribute would indeed be great for this country.
A genuinely progressive tax structure would be a good start.
Putting all the back and forth aside, Mat, what specific actions and/or legislation do you propose to correct the situation?
Can you explain why this is forced slavery? It seems to me you have the choice whether to feed your money to those you choose in most cases. Are you a slave to the liberal ideology that states that the government is the only answer? You vote with every dollar you choose to spend.
You don't need to give your money to Apple who was well known for excessive profit margins and was run by a greedy CEO who didn't believe in charity. Or a company like Starbucks that strives to put every independent coffee house out of business.
Find those small local companies and service providers that keep your money out of those that you think are enslaving you. Don't play this lazy game of villianizing the wealthy and be gullible enough to think the more government is the only answer. Give off your butt and work within the current system.
If there is no profit to be made in producing a newspaper, there is no more City Paper. Although i'm sure the owners and most everyone that writes or works for this rag does it because they love it. They also have bills to pay.
If there is no market for it, the advertisers dry up and no more free paper. So obviously Matt benefits from the free market that he rails against.
It's not that your numbers or even the author's numbers are wrong, Raver. The point is how would one go about changing anything. Matt obviously believes that the system is flawed and capitalism is just pure evil. I personally think he couldn't be more wrong.
Class warfare thrives on ignorance about the sources of income. Listening to some of the talk about income differences, one would think that there’s a pile of money meant to be shared equally among Americans.
Rich people got to the pile first and greedily took an unfair share. Justice requires that they "give back." Or, some people talk about unequal income distribution as if there were a dealer of dollars.
The reason some people have millions or billions of dollars while others have very few is the dollar dealer is a racist, sexist, a multinationalist or just plain mean. Economic justice requires a re-dealing of the dollars, income redistribution or spreading the wealth, where the ill-gotten gains of the few are returned to their rightful owners.
In a free society, for the most part, people with high incomes have demonstrated extraordinary ability to produce valuable services for -- and therefore please -- their fellow man.
People voluntarily took money out of their pockets to purchase the products of Gates, Pfizer or IBM.
High incomes reflect the democracy of the marketplace.
The reason Gates is very wealthy is millions upon millions of people voluntarily reached into their pockets and handed over $300 or $400 for a Microsoft product. Those who think he has too much money are really registering disagreement with decisions made by millions of their fellow men.
Stubborn ignorance sees capitalism as benefiting only the rich, but the evidence refutes that.
The rich have always been able to afford entertainment; it was the development and marketing of radio and television that made entertainment accessible to the common man.
The rich have never had the drudgery of washing and ironing clothing, beating out carpets or waxing floors. The mass production of washing machines, wash-and-wear clothing, vacuum cleaners and no-wax floors spared the common man this drudgery.
At one time, only the rich could afford automobiles, telephones and computers. Now all but a small percentage of Americans enjoy these goods.
The prospects are dim for a society that makes mascots out of the unproductive and condemns the productive.
So, I am obviously a liberal if I use facts and data in my responses, rather than just blathering about opinions and hearsay? Well, shit, you got me there.
I am glad Ned knows one German person. I know several hundred, including my managers. All of them love Germany and would also love to move back. They go where the company needs them.
Another problem with the trolls, is that they don't understand that there is a difference between level wealth distribution and socialism. If you don't understand the difference, you may want to read up. The only socialism that exists in most of the world is state run, and has little to do with wealth distribution under a capitalistic system.
No one even addressed my point about how uneven wealth distribution is bad for the economy. How are the businesses going to keep selling their goods, if the largest portion of our population keeps seeing a reduction in the distribution of the nations wealth? Hmmmmm....
Ned, where ya been man? I thought maybe you'd been rounded up and taken to a FEMA re-education camp.
PS: What progressives know about economics couldn't fill a thimble.
Oh my, more lies, bullshit, misinformation, and propaganda by mat. Wanna know why the wealth disparity is growing and the middle class is shrinking, along with middle class wages? First and foremost --- globalization, technology, government regulations, and federal reserve policy.
Mitt Romney and pubs are not to blame for globalization and "offshoring" of jobs. China & India, among others, have been emerging from feudalism and entering the industrial age. Due to their far lower wages, significantly less regulations, and modern shipping methods, it is far cheaper to manufacture in third world countries and ship the goods to America. Unions have helped ensure this as well.
North America & Europe are mature markets. Growth equals profits. Growth is found in emerging markets. Corporations go where the growth is to increase sales & revenues. McDonalds & WalMart have few opportunities to expand in America. Their yearly sales & revenue grow because they are expanding like crazy in emerging markets. You go where the opportunities are, where the growth is. It also helps that capital costs, labor costs, and regulatory costs are significantly cheaper in other countries. Unions, overly zealous & unnecessary regulations, and oppressive taxation all contribute to far higher start-up costs & barriers, and far lower profits here in America.
I read a while back that American coal mines get the same volume of production today with 1 miner that it use to get from 10 due to technology. China intentionally uses outdated technology not only because it is cheaper to use cheap manual labor than expensive modern equipment, but to also because it employees 10 people rather than 1, which helps grow China's emerging middle class. As technology improves, good paying manufacturing jobs are replaced by machines that operate 24/7 without mistakes, injuries, expensive benefits packages, union BS, and other issues.
The tech bubble under Clinton, the real estate bubble under Bush, and the education tuition/student loan & stock market bubbles growing under Obama all have the same creator - insane monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. Government intervention in the economy. Historically low interest rates and monetary policy looser than a drunk slut's morals have been creating hyper liquidity in America for over 20 years. It devalues the dollar, creates inflation, and pushes us from bubble to bubble, financial crisis to crisis. They also depress wages.
Comparing Germany and Scandinavian countries to America, which liberals love to do, is incredibly intellectually dishonest and flawed. Those countries are very homogenous compared to America. They are also much smaller and don't have huge minority and illegal alien populations. They also don't provide trillions in foreign aid nor serve as the worlds police force. And they also don't provide the opportunities America does. By the way, I'm close friends with a woman from Germany. She has dated my cousin for several years. There are 9 children in her family. Eight of the nine live in America. None have any desire to go back to Germany for anything other than to visit family.
Despite all this, America is still the best place to succeed, but the odds are lower now and it takes more effort, greater start-up barriers, more money, and more luck. The overwhelming majority of poor and lower class in America are there not because of the mean ole' Republicans or the 1% (which includes just as many Democrats) but because of their own laziness, sloth, and lack of work ethic & values. They don't value education, risk, nor hard work. Blacks in America need to listen to people like Thomas Sowell, Herman Cain, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and other successful blacks that were taught as children the value of reading & education. That were taught the importance of morals, values, and a strong work ethic. The 1% & conservatives aren't enslaving minorities. Democrats and their own leaders are.
All socialism and communism guarantee are failure & mediocrity. Capitalism has freed, educated, fed, and enriched more people, created more wealth, and lifted more people out of poverty than all other systems combined. All other systems enslave, demotivate, and disincentivize people. When you reward the lack of effort you cause others not to try as hard. Government gets very little right and does nothing effectively or efficiently. Government has made every social ill in America worse. Government will never be able to guarantee positive outcomes. America grew the fastest, was its strongest, and did more effectively when our government was smaller and had far less power.
Greater wealth disparity today? Seriously? What a joke. Look at the history of the world. Before America the norm was feudalism, slavery, and indentured servitude. Rather than the 1% there was the .01% and everyone else was dirt poor and oppressed with near zero chance of changing it.
Yes, mat, social issues, special interest, class warfare, and a box of progressive lies & propaganda, along with an MSM that has totally abandoned its fiduciary duty, are the real problem in America.
factory, its because this system is in failure, and is going down the drain. it has turned away from its main provider and rest its life on man . such sorrow.
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Adam Smith
Free market capitalism is relatively new in human history. Prior to the rise of capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man.
Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving one's fellow man. Capitalists seek to discover what people want and then produce it as efficiently as possible.
Free market capitalism is ruthless in its profit and loss discipline. This explains much of the hostility toward free market capitalism; some of it is held by businessmen. AdamSmith recognized this hostility when he said, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." He was hinting at government-backed crony capitalism, which has come to characterize much of today’s businesses.
Free market capitalism has other enemies -- mostly among the intellectual elite and political tyrants. These are people who believe that they have superior wisdom to the masses and that they somehow have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us.
Of course, they have what they consider to be good reasons for restricting liberty, but every tyrant who has ever lived has had what he considered good reason for restricting liberty.
A tyrant’s agenda calls for the attenuation or the elimination of the market and what is implied by it -- voluntary exchange.
Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. They want to replace the market with economic planning and regulation.
The Wall Street occupiers and their media and political allies are not against the principle of crony capitalism, bailouts and government special privileges and intervention. They share the same hostility to free market capitalism and peaceable voluntary exchange as tyrants. What they really want is congressional permission to share in the booty from looting their fellow man.
We are becoming more and more enslaved by special interest groups, the media, the elite upper class and the bureaucracy, and there are a heck of a lot more than 1% of them. More like 20%. And it's not just about how much money you make as how well connected you are; and your ability to influence public opinion and participate in the political process. The 1% noise is a smokescreen to help ensure the powers that be can continue to be, and prosper, at the expense of the middle class..
Here's something else that Mat won't push you into: to get this utopian socialist paradise that he craves the middle class will have to be taxed out the wazoo. So it's fun to play eat the1% games but Howard Dean is telling you the truth when he says every wage earner will have to pay through the nose.
And factoryconnection, I stand by my us citizens are the one percent of the world but if you want to get snooty, I will revise that to say we are in the top .2% of the world's wealth. How is that any better??
"modern slavery"? I doubt there has been any forcement into servitude. Now, you didn't pass GO and you didn't draw a Get Out of Jail card, so remember that life can be unfair.
"Who is the 1%? If you make over $47,500 per year, you are."
Maybe, using data from 2003 (as noted on the site). Also, that atrocious looking website doesn't take cost of living into consideration. As others have said, we may be wealthier than the rest of the world in muricah, but that doesn't change the fact that the spread is very lopsided in this country.
In the USA, in 2007, the top 1% owned 34.6% of the countries wealth. Another prosperous country, Germany, had the top 10% only owning 24.9% of the countries wealth. Funny thing is, Germany has the same complaints you hear in the USA, but they are way better off in terms of wealth distribution.
There is a lot of data out there to prove that this lopsided wealth distribution is horrible for the economy. I am definitely not part of the occupy crazies, but I can't agree that having the top 1% control so much of the money will lead to positive future in this country.
Who is the 1%? If you make over $47,500 per year, you are.
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