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Re: Inequality

Roger · 26 · 2230

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Online Roger

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''Banyong Pongpanich, a financier and a former member of the State Enterprise Policy Commission, studied the statistics and concluded that Thailand's inequality gap has become the worst in the world''. . . .
and . . .
''The report highlights that in 2018, Thailand's richest 1% controlled 66.9% of the national wealth''.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1592346/debate-swirls-over-yawning-inequality-gap?

These Stats may not be 100% but there's no doubt in my mind - inequality of income is a massive problem in Thailand - as everywhere ?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Oxfam - the World's 26 richest people own as much as the World's poorest 50%  >:(

When reading news around Europe and the World, it's hard for me not to wonder what is driving discontent in so many countries. Could it be simply, rampant inequality ?

''Oxfam said the wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires across the globe had increased by $900bn in 2018 – or $2.5bn a day. The 12% increase in the wealth of the very richest contrasted with a fall of 11% in the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population.''

''The way our economies are organised means wealth is increasingly and unfairly concentrated among a privileged few while millions of people are barely subsisting. Women are dying for lack of decent maternity care and children are being denied an education that could be their route out of poverty. No one should be condemned to an earlier grave or a life of illiteracy simply because they were born poor.''

''It doesn’t have to be this way – there is enough wealth in the world to provide everyone with a fair chance in life. Governments should act to ensure that taxes raised from wealth and businesses paying their fair share are used to fund free, good-quality public services that can save and transform people’s lives.''

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/21/world-26-richest-people-own-as-much-as-poorest-50-per-cent-oxfam-report
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein



Online Roger

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Well Shapiro is amusing enough in his fast talking and self-satisfied World - but this first analogy is pure tart - no-one observing or wishing to reduce inequality would suggest that Bill Gates has actually stolen money from the poor or that the poor had it in the first place.

The size of the World's cake should of course, be as large as possible, (and the likes of Bill Gates contribute greatly), but the World should organise it's corporate affairs and tax systems in such a way as to make sure that everybody is looked after in a more reasonable way. Or settle for the consequences  :(

BTW talking to an American friend last Friday - he was in Summer School completing some papers and another brilliant student used to wander around singing to some bits of string he twisted in his fingers - when addressed, this Guy was quite cogent though. At the end of the session the Guy offered my M8 a job which he declined. It turns out that 'twiddler' was the 5th employee working for Bill Gates, at that time, in his garage. We've all missed opportunities in life but  :o    :o
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 02:29:04 PM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline jungle

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Interesting topic  Roger  and I agree that the distribution of wealth plays a major part in today’s politics  .
  While GDP has soured in most devolved country’s over the last 40 odd years real wages have not kept pace.
 Not an economist so can only guess at the causes, maybe the discarding of Keynesian policy and full employment and the advent of Friedmans monetary policy and the wholesale backing of market forces ,trickle down theory (or was that crumbs from the table theory) with little Government controls or oversight

Later Globalization and Automation cant have helped much either ,and God knows how they are going to manage AI and its impact on the work force .

 I do agree with  that Goverments (sensible) have to be involved  in solving the problem of wealth redistribution (this is not a socialist or communist term ) the free market is not capable just think of the subprime mortgage cluster F  that we havnt fully recovered from yet.
Many  economist have voiced concerns at the increasing wealth gaps and the effects that will eventually follow if not corrected ,masses of people spending will create more wealth that just a few doing so   
The tax system needs to be looked at ,All wealth should incur a tax .
Corporations ,company’s etc may well in fact owe something more  to society which supply’s them costumers ,workers ,infrastructure , Government assistance and defense How to affect that in a Global  economy  I dont know .
Radical thought but maybe just maybe they should not have influence in politics at the party and election levels to boot 


Online Roger

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Tolstoy's 'How much land does a Man need' is a salutary tale - and a short one.

Jungle - thanks for your interest. Just think now of France and it's 'Yellow Vests'. I suspect that a lot of Immigration has exacerbated France's problems but even so, surely the 'driver' is total disenchantment with poor wages and living conditions for very many people - even those working. Macron has given into a number of demands but he still can't mollify the source of the discontent which may at heart be, the degree of inequality which has been allowed to develop in recent decades ?

Dam - what's your view ?





''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline jungle

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Hi  Roger haven’t followed what’s going on in France to closely
From my understanding (correct me if I am wrong) it started over increases in fuel  tax to support the drive away from fossil fuels just another tax  and went from there 
There appears to be no leadership to the protesters so how to negotiate a resolution ?
IMO they need to clear the streets first then talk with the population

Mass Immigration and the effects on social services , work force and wage dilution may have been the last straw and focal point of frustrations I agree
 
What I never understood about the whole wholesale migration issue was it seemed to start over Syria war refuges and then everyone from Bangladesh to Nigeria were walking into the EU .
Personally I don’t believe taking immigrates from strife torn  country’s solves many problems
 (war refuges diffrent story)
 As a fun thought why not  buy a country from a  corrupt leader colonize it for a few decades investing in infrastructure and people the purchase price could be discounted by shooting the previous owner and recovering the moneys 

For me I believe a part  of the current situation we are in   started back with the subprime F.U (unregulated free market ) if you think about it we are still struggling since that point and a lot of people lost faith in the institutions Government, Banks ,corporations. Globalization (which I feel benefited corporations the most ) and automation of many manufacturing jobs which is still going on apace  hasnt helped . Some real leadership and new ideas are needed sadly I dont see much of either in the current crop

Just a thought what would happen instead of a war over resources masses of people just stared to  move, how do you control that .Our leaders in the west have backed/supported  regimes that have broken country’s oppressed there people and failed to invest in their future (inequity issues again)
 
Have never read Tolstoy But will down load the story


Online Robert

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Tolstoy's 'How much land does a Man need' is a salutary tale - and a short one.

Jungle - thanks for your interest. Just think now of France and it's 'Yellow Vests'. I suspect that a lot of Immigration has exacerbated France's problems but even so, surely the 'driver' is total disenchantment with poor wages and living conditions for very many people - even those working. Macron has given into a number of demands but he still can't mollify the source of the discontent which may at heart be, the degree of inequality which has been allowed to develop in recent decades ?

Dam - what's your view ?

Roger,

IMHO problems in France started a long time ago already when Algeria became independent. Then many, many Algerians moved to France. Now many second/third generations are living in the Beaulieu's where even the police do not want to come. They do not have work and can easliy revolt seeing a chance. Keep police busy somewhere and plunder.....

Robert



Offline dam12641

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"Dam - what's your view ?"

"....but the World should organise its corporate affairs and tax systems in such a way as to make sure that everybody is looked after in a more reasonable way."

Here is where we fundamentally disagree. Your view seems to be the old chestnut "Take from the rich and give to the poor."

No, no, no! It is not the job of government to redistribute wealth - that is the view of outdated communist and socialist idealogues. It is the job of government to create the environment that encourages wealth creation and rewards it.


Online Roger

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Jungle - thanks for your reply - a lot to think about. Many people around the World want to better their lot but the Nations that might receive them, can only integrate a limited number.

Robert - France seems to have a serious problem and over the years we keep hearing about these large ghetto suburbs with a great deal of discontent bubbling.

Dam - who are you calling an old chestnut  ;)  You post - ''It is the job of government to create the environment that encourages wealth creation and rewards it.'' Of course. I agree 100%   :)   

But if only it was that simple. I was an MD for 20 years and I can tell you this from experience - if the people that work for you are treated fairly and with respect, they are much more productive  8)  This is not altruism - it's good business. So whilst the Govt. needs to support an environment conducive to business, it also needs to make sure that Society works for both the Entrepreneur and the wider populace. That's reality not 'communism'.

Inequality is a massive problem and those doing well often don't give a bugger about those missing out  :(  And those who come out on top are often not the wonderful entrepreneurs that set the World alight with their brilliance, but the beneficiaries of luck, position, patronage or corruption.

Yes, yes, yes !  We disagree and that's OK. ATB

« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 05:04:31 PM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline jungle

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Good Points Roger I agree and the more money going around the better for all and we all save a fortune on securty systeems for any thing over 6 foot :0)

Dan only vaguely heard of  Shapiro before whiked him he has some points
 
My thoughts are Governments job is to govern for benefit of all its citizens
Important as the economy is it has to be balanced with the well being and social cohesion of its society / citizens and therefore it may be necessary to honestly review ,change ,adjust  economic  philosophy .There have been many economic philosophies/models applied  modified and discarded keynesian economics the last one to fall outa favor and Milton Friedmans monetary policy became the new god maybe this is now old hat/chestnut
 
There is now a huge gap in the average wage and GDP compared to 30-40 years ago ,What is the cause ? We are producing more but the distribution of that wealth is not be spread throughout society will it lead to upheaval?
Free markets do work and have contributed greatly to lifting millions out of poverty nowhere more than China which has by far been the most successful in doing so .The government of China has Managed and directed it not just left it to the free market but China has always put social harmony high on its agenda. There is wealth disparity there (Always will be in any economy) but living standards have razed greatly. Easy for China to make a 10/20 year plan as they don’t have to deal with elections
What thoughts are there out there about western Democracy starting to fail due to vested interests be it business or partisan politics
Maybe start looking at different options ask questions like why CEOs pay rates have sky rocketed and is it necessary am  sure it pisses of a lot of smaller share holders and once again is it necessary corporations are legally judged as a person and have a right to be involved in politics
One interesting  article I have seen points out during Americas hay days (when America was great) 40s to 70ish  the top tax rate was 70%  I am not saying Tax to death just an  observation
Thank you all for letting me ramble :0)


Online Teessider

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Latest figures (taken from the Independent who were quoting official figures from The Equality Trust) show that the poorest 10% are paying more tax (42%) proportional to their income than the richest 10% (34%). This is because the poorest 10% spend their money while surplus money given to the richest disappears into offshore bank accounts.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaine Pascal


Offline jungle

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Teessider  I would not think that's far from the truth
Even without sending their money offshore
If you live pay check to paycheck you would also pay VAT /GST tax on all your income .Warren Buffet even commented on how his secretary on 50,000 PA paided more tax than he


Online Teessider

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There was a theory that after the banking crash caused by greedy financiers but paid for by low earners through austerity the Quantitative Easing program whereby banks were given money to facilitate borrowing would have been better served by giving everyone the money directly. As most prople would have spent it or paid off debts this would have boosted the economy.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaine Pascal


Online Roger

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Comments on 'Populism' are often seen. Just one example, with the coming EU elections in May, the rise of 'Populist' parties and voters around Europe is mooted and bemoaned. But what is 'Populism' ?

Take for example the UK, basically a democratic Nation - why should 'Populism' itself be perceived as a problem ? Are the democratic majority, (the Populists), whichever major issues they centre around, perceived as a threat to the Establishment order . . ?

There seems to be a 'Project Fear' generated against what in fact, amounts to the Democratic will - expressed in popularity of the ascendant view be it on social matters, immigration or whatever else. Attempts to consider ways to address inequality are usually met 'McCarthy' style - with wailing about communism and socialism.

It's inequality that seems to be behind the problems in many Nations - maybe it's true of Thailand and UK, France, Italy, Greece and even the USA. So we need to address 'inequality' in my view - firmly and without the bigotry of a 'Project Fear'  8)

It's my conviction that the World can't move forward without more consideration of all the people - Nation by Nation. Is 'practical socialism' the answer ? If we want the democratic majorities, 'Populists', to think differently about Immigration, Nationalism etc., so perhaps the environment of gross and growing inequality should be altered ?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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Take for example the UK, basically a democratic Nation - why should 'Populism' itself be perceived as a problem ? Are the democratic majority, (the Populists), whichever major issues they centre around, perceived as a threat to the Establishment order . . ?

Yes, is the short answer. In the UK, we have had a 'cultural and political hegemony' for the last, what, 25-30 years, whereby political parties have become virtually interchangeable, establishment views and mores have been 'browbeaten' into the populace, thus seeking to lay down a view and attitude towards current affairs and life in general, that if challenged, can lead to ostracism.

Brexit is seeing this exposed right now. It is a huge challenge to the status quo and just look how politicians, the media and elite have responded - democracy, what's that?

But the genie is out of the bag and I think the old order need to adapt or be wiped out.


Online Roger

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Thanks for the reply Caller. Good stuff  :)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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''After 12 hours of work, the three of them typically end up with 300 baht -- less than the minimum wage for one labourer''.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1642128/distressed-rubber-lands-could-upend-electoral-map?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Here's another aspect of 'Inequality' - that between the young and the old, (and the old and the old come to that  ;) ) :-

''The number of people in the public sector’s largest pension schemes retiring on incomes of more than £100,000 has more than tripled in the past seven years, according to figures obtained by a charity promoting intergenerational fairness. Pensions schemes covering the NHS, the civil service and the teaching profession were paying six-figure incomes last year to 375 retirees, up from 117 in 2010. Those in receipt of pensions higher than the UK’s average annual salary of about £28,600 also increased by 46% – up from 78,000 in 2010/11 to 115,000 in 2017/18.

The Intergenerational Foundation said the figures, which it obtained through freedom of information requests, illustrated a growing divide between the generations. Angus Hanton, the co-founder of IF, said the figures excluded the state pension, which adds another £8,767 to the incomes of new retirees and would likely push the pensions of thousands more public sector workers above the average wage. He said successive governments had sought to protect those close to retirement at the expense of a younger generation whose pensions would be much less generous.

He called on ministers to consider withdrawing the state pension for retirees on high incomes. “The government should consider means-testing the state pension so that recipients of pensions over £50,000 are disqualified from receiving it,” he said
.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/may/12/public-sector-pensions-100k-rise-threefold

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline dam12641

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You're shooting the messenger here.

Don't criticise the pension schemes - criticise the policies which allowed such non-entities to be employed in the first place and then rewarded way above their worth in the second place.

Socialism creates these 'inequalities' (overpaid jobs for the boys in the public sector) and then SJWs scream "Foul!"