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    Default Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    If you get a chance to watch the Morgan Spurlock episode on Income Inequality, it's well worth it. It will be repeated on CNN. Here's a preview:

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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    They're just lazy.... /thread /sarcasm


    I don't see the balance getting any better. Talking to some people about trying to get better wealth balance in this country is like trying to convert someone's religion. I remember back in the late 90s, we had a fairly decent job market. Employers had less control over who they could hire and it was much easier to negotiate a decent wage.

    One of the reasons I think employers like our current employment conditions is that it's easy to control employees and pay them pennies on the dollar. Back in the late 90s it wasn't too uncommon to find another job paying better with a better overall benefits package. Since we're currently in a "buyer's market", employers have taken this opportunity to impose more rules, oppress workers' rights (forcing a prospective employee to show their employer their social media accounts IS a violation of one's rights), and other egregious acts.

    But, since we have so many people that are ok with turning a blind eye to the tyranny of big business, this trend will continue. Too many people are perfectly fine with towing the company line regardless of the company's practice of paying it's top 1% obscene salaries and forcing the remaining 99% to struggle. I like/hate these types of exposes because they do expose issues with our current system, but they tend to fall on deaf ears because we have so many people that don't know how to vote for their best interest.
    Last edited by TXGTOU; 06-02-2014 at 09:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    It was an interesting episode and an interesting conclusion.. He talked with the top 10% and the lower 10% and their responses were not what one would expect. The top 10% are starting to feel it now because people don't have the money to spend to buy their products now.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    I haven't been able to watch/listen to this (have a schedule for a repeat?), but I'll reiterate what I said in one of our recent threads discussing wages and my McDonald's example. If not only the current CEO, but the retired McDonald's CEO (via his company funded retirement) gave up 100% of their yearly earnings and gave it to the employees, it would only amount to less than a $0.03/hr raise.

    So even if you believe the income inequality gap is the fault of the "evil rich" CEO's, them giving up a large part of their earnings for higher wages isn't going to be the silver bullet to fix this. It probably wouldn't be a brass bullet. All it would do is lower their standard of living without increasing the other employees standard of living. When one person holds that much power in a company where hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on his decisions, I have little problem with him being paid an exorbitant amount. I guess some people would rather everyone share in the misery than allowing those with ability to rise up.

    I believe in the free market, you're paid exactly what you're worth. You may think you're worth more, but if you're settling for a low wage job and not working to improve your status, then you have set that bar low.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    I haven't been able to watch/listen to this (have a schedule for a repeat?), but I'll reiterate what I said in one of our recent threads discussing wages and my McDonald's example. If not only the current CEO, but the retired McDonald's CEO (via his company funded retirement) gave up 100% of their yearly earnings and gave it to the employees, it would only amount to less than a $0.03/hr raise.

    So even if you believe the income inequality gap is the fault of the "evil rich" CEO's, them giving up a large part of their earnings for higher wages isn't going to be the silver bullet to fix this. It probably wouldn't be a brass bullet. All it would do is lower their standard of living without increasing the other employees standard of living. When one person holds that much power in a company where hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on his decisions, I have little problem with him being paid an exorbitant amount. I guess some people would rather everyone share in the misery than allowing those with ability to rise up.

    I believe in the free market, you're paid exactly what you're worth. You may think you're worth more, but if you're settling for a low wage job and not working to improve your status, then you have set that bar low.
    I'll sum up my belief in terms of the cheesy flick from the 80s, "Balance Daniel San!" The gap is there, I'm not so sure why it's so difficult to understand that as more wealth goes to the top, that leaves less wealth for everyone else. I'm not advocating we "storm the castle" of the wealthy and take from them (although history has show that it has happened before when the rich don't practice restraint nor responsibility). I'm saying we need to improve the system that once made our country great. Without a strong middle class and upward mobility, we're going to wind up like Mexico or China, which aren't exactly known for their middle class nor upward mobility.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    I'll sum up my belief in terms of the cheesy flick from the 80s, "Balance Daniel San!" The gap is there, I'm not so sure why it's so difficult to understand that as more wealth goes to the top, that leaves less wealth for everyone else. I'm not advocating we "storm the castle" of the wealthy and take from them (although history has show that it has happened before when the rich don't practice restraint nor responsibility). I'm saying we need to improve the system that once made our country great. Without a strong middle class and upward mobility, we're going to wind up like Mexico or China, which aren't exactly known for their middle class nor upward mobility.
    Fair enough, but considering what I demonstrated with the McDonald's example, the money to raise the middle class has to come from somewhere other than the CEO's and executives. I can think of two things right off the bat. One, they raise prices and cause a spike in inflation that spreads out over everything and thus raises the cost of living so nothing really changes in spending power. The other being cut back on the excessive government regulation that either drives business away or simply increases regulatory costs that would otherwise be able to go towards wages or lower prices. Heck, look at how many billions are spent in tax compliance alone (been a while since I've advocated the Fair Tax here ). Look at all the enviromental battles that go on whenever a big company wants to build a new building. Or things like that spat between Boeing and the Labor union trying to prevent them from opening a new plant in an area that would best help the company's profitability. And the indirect costs of compliance like excessive maintence costs on new equipment to meet new EPA standards.

    It's not simply a rich vs the common worker problem. It just costs a lot more to do business in this country than ever before. So while income inequality may be something to be concerned with, I don't think you'll ever get anywhere unless you try to address the other problems surrounding the issue. Sadly, the left doesn't like to do that. They all just want higher wages for the low end earners and then say anyone that doesn't fall in lock step and wants to address the other issues at play as just being uncaring and wanting to let the divide grow.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Exactly. There has to be balance. When all the money ends up at the top in too few hands it hurts the entire economy as the majority of people do not have enough money to spend. So their buying is reduced, their going out to eat is reduced and business suffers.
    It's in the best interest of the wealthy to keep the classes under them happy. Like the happy wife/happy life concept. Otherwise the poor and downtrodden will be at their mansions with pitchforks and torches eventually.

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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    It's not simply a rich vs the common worker problem. It just costs a lot more to do business in this country than ever before. So while income inequality may be something to be concerned with, I don't think you'll ever get anywhere unless you try to address the other problems surrounding the issue. Sadly, the left doesn't like to do that. They all just want higher wages for the low end earners and then say anyone that doesn't fall in lock step and wants to address the other issues at play as just being uncaring and wanting to let the divide grow.
    I would agree with this argument if the figures didn't point to the increasing wealth gap.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    I would agree with this argument if the figures didn't point to the increasing wealth gap.
    That's only the symptom. It's like someone saying they are suddenly about to go broke because they aren't making enough money, but ignoring their new gambling habit as being the actual cause. A growing wealth gap doesn't automatically equal "Evil rich taking advantage of the common worker."

    But I guess since I understand money doesn't come out of thin air and want to consider all of the potential issues and would like them dealt with, I'm just an evil person too that wants to keep the working man down.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    That's only the symptom. It's like someone saying they are suddenly about to go broke because they aren't making enough money, but ignoring their new gambling habit as being the actual cause. A growing wealth gap doesn't automatically equal "Evil rich taking advantage of the common worker."

    But I guess since I understand money doesn't come out of thin air and want to consider all of the potential issues and would like them dealt with, I'm just an evil person too that wants to keep the working man down.
    To me a growing wealth gap means that the people at the top are over-valuing their contribution to the company, to society in general. If you look at how much the top earners made back when we were more prosperous, had higher tax rates for the wealthy, you can't help but see the correlation.

    What I'd personally like to see is upper management's salary tied to something tangible within the company. For instance, the CEO of a company can only make XX times more than the average of its bottom 10% paid workers (including contractors). That would mean that if the CEO wants to make good money, he/she has to ensure the well-being of the bottom 10% of his/her workforce. This would motivate CEOs to take into account their lowest paid employees' well-being.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    To me a growing wealth gap means that the people at the top are over-valuing their contribution to the company, to society in general. If you look at how much the top earners made back when we were more prosperous, had higher tax rates for the wealthy, you can't help but see the correlation.
    Company's weren't as large back in the good ol' days, so the potential for CEO's to earn as much as they do now simply wasn't there. Don't you think the CEO of a company with several hundred thousand employees and hundreds of retail outlets or numerous manufacturing facilities around the country is worth a fair bit more than a CEO of a company with maybe a few thousand people and the fraction of the overall footprint?

    What I'd personally like to see is upper management's salary tied to something tangible within the company. For instance, the CEO of a company can only make XX times more than the average of its bottom 10% paid workers (including contractors). That would mean that if the CEO wants to make good money, he/she has to ensure the well-being of the bottom 10% of his/her workforce. This would motivate CEOs to take into account their lowest paid employees' well-being.
    So to me, what you're really saying is you'd like to restrict the CEO's earnings potential with no real benefit to the low end worker pay. Because unless you can point to me any way you can do that and expect those low end wages to come up by any meaningful amount, your logic is flawed. Or perhaps you'd like to dispute my prior example, because your idea would be 180 degrees opposite of what I demonstrated. I could *maybe* see that working out in higher skilled professions and on a smaller scale where wages are naturally high already due to the market. In the world of minimum wage workers like we've been discussing here, there's no way an idea like that could work. The number of workers relative to the number of upper management and the CEO would dilute the sacrificed earnings once it's spread out to the others.

    But I guess you've already made up your mind that the ONLY reason the income gap is bigger is because the CEO's and coorporate fat cats are evil and who's sole purpose is to push the little guys down while they fatten their wallets, and that the other increased costs of running companies nowadays (which also prevent giving raises)... well those just don't matter. Am I reading you right?
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Have not gotten to watch yet and wont for a few days, but a few tid bits for discussion:

    1. When the economy is weak, the income gap grows. When the economy is strong, the gap narrows. Fix the economy and you will more than likely mitigate a significant portion of the problem.

    2. To say "the top has too much" imply that there is a finite amount of wealth in the country. There is not a set amount of wealth.

    3. The value of labor often gets ignored in these conversations. Skill-less labor will one day soon be dead to this country and eventually to the world. The closer it comes do death, the less value it will have. People making themselves more valuable will be the only way that they can honestly demand more pay. Demanding more pay without more value artificially inflates wages and causes issues for both business and individuals.

    4. Fixing the education systems in this country and demanding that our citizens develop valuable skills, trades, work ethic, and creative thinking habits is the only way to truly raise the median wage. In the global market we now live in, we cannot compete for low skill jobs while also raising the quality of life. Places like China and Mexico will always win. We do not live in the world of 50+ years ago where shipping across an ocean was costed more than 50 cent an hour labor saved. Our citizens have to become workers with value and education that lead the world with intelligence and creativity instead of mindless button pushers or part loaders in a factory.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    Company's weren't as large back in the good ol' days, so the potential for CEO's to earn as much as they do now simply wasn't there. Don't you think the CEO of a company with several hundred thousand employees and hundreds of retail outlets or numerous manufacturing facilities around the country is worth a fair bit more than a CEO of a company with maybe a few thousand people and the fraction of the overall footprint?


    So to me, what you're really saying is you'd like to restrict the CEO's earnings potential with no real benefit to the low end worker pay. Because unless you can point to me any way you can do that and expect those low end wages to come up by any meaningful amount, your logic is flawed. Or perhaps you'd like to dispute my prior example, because your idea would be 180 degrees opposite of what I demonstrated. I could *maybe* see that working out in higher skilled professions and on a smaller scale where wages are naturally high already due to the market. In the world of minimum wage workers like we've been discussing here, there's no way an idea like that could work. The number of workers relative to the number of upper management and the CEO would dilute the sacrificed earnings once it's spread out to the others.

    But I guess you've already made up your mind that the ONLY reason the income gap is bigger is because the CEO's and coorporate fat cats are evil and who's sole purpose is to push the little guys down while they fatten their wallets, and that the other increased costs of running companies nowadays (which also prevent giving raises)... well those just don't matter. Am I reading you right?
    So your definition of a "fair bit", is over 100x more? Because that's about how much more they make now than they used to make. And you HONESTLY believe that the CEO manages every one of those employees, every one of those franchises/outlets/factories? You're laying it on a bit thick aren't you?

    If a CEO's compensation is tied to the lowest earners of his/her company, don't you think that gives them an incentive to pay their employees a better living wage? What would you propose? That their salary be voted upon by board directors and board members that are looking to inflate the salary of those CEOs because they believe that one day they'll be able to reap the benefit of such highly inflated compensation packages, or because they think it's fair for the company? Based on your assumption that the CEOs manage EVERY aspect of a company's operations, I'm guessing you think that the board members vote for what's best for the company. And they also do what's best for the environment and the consumer too right?

    One of the BIGGEST financial meltdowns of our country's history (2008 banking crisis) happened because the banking industry was using immoral and unethical practices. Do you really think that it was over-regulation that caused our economy to almost sink into another depression? Read between the lines. The banking industry is not an anomaly, they just got caught. Go look at the other thread posted by Palandri, even the egg industry isn't above corruption for the sake of fattening their wallets. I'm not saying that every large conglomerate is evil personified, but they also aren't altruistic entities at the mercy of government regulation that you make them out to be.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    So your definition of a "fair bit", is over 100x more? Because that's about how much more they make now than they used to make. And you HONESTLY believe that the CEO manages every one of those employees, every one of those franchises/outlets/factories? You're laying it on a bit thick aren't you?
    Depending on the size and value of the company compared to some point in history, a CEO's compensation could legitimately be that much higher. I don't believe they micro-manage everything at the company, but the decisions they make do affect the company as a whole.

    If a CEO's compensation is tied to the lowest earners of his/her company, don't you think that gives them an incentive to pay their employees a better living wage? What would you propose? That their salary be voted upon by board directors and board members that are looking to inflate the salary of those CEOs because they believe that one day they'll be able to reap the benefit of such highly inflated compensation packages, or because they think it's fair for the company?
    If tied to the lowest earner's pay, then I believe it only draws the CEO's earnings down, not the other way around. I already addressed why, but I'm still waiting for you to give reason to why you think it would help the employees in a meaningful way on the large scale market. Just because it feels good to you isn't a valid reason.


    One of the BIGGEST financial meltdowns of our country's history (2008 banking crisis) happened because the banking industry was using immoral and unethical practices. Do you really think that it was over-regulation that caused our economy to almost sink into another depression?
    When you consider that banks were pressured by regulation going back decades to make bad loans to unqualified home buyers, yes I believe it was over-regulation that got that ball rolling.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    Company's weren't as large back in the good ol' days, so the potential for CEO's to earn as much as they do now simply wasn't there. Don't you think the CEO of a company with several hundred thousand employees and hundreds of retail outlets or numerous manufacturing facilities around the country is worth a fair bit more than a CEO of a company with maybe a few thousand people and the fraction of the overall footprint?


    So to me, what you're really saying is you'd like to restrict the CEO's earnings potential with no real benefit to the low end worker pay. Because unless you can point to me any way you can do that and expect those low end wages to come up by any meaningful amount, your logic is flawed. Or perhaps you'd like to dispute my prior example, because your idea would be 180 degrees opposite of what I demonstrated. I could *maybe* see that working out in higher skilled professions and on a smaller scale where wages are naturally high already due to the market. In the world of minimum wage workers like we've been discussing here, there's no way an idea like that could work. The number of workers relative to the number of upper management and the CEO would dilute the sacrificed earnings once it's spread out to the others.

    But I guess you've already made up your mind that the ONLY reason the income gap is bigger is because the CEO's and coorporate fat cats are evil and who's sole purpose is to push the little guys down while they fatten their wallets, and that the other increased costs of running companies nowadays (which also prevent giving raises)... well those just don't matter. Am I reading you right?
    Define good old days. I suppose if you are taking about 1920 or earlier that might be true. But there were some very large companies in the 50s, 60's, 70's and 80's. But the CEO pay was more reasonable.

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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetGator View Post
    Define good old days. I suppose if you are taking about 1920 or earlier that might be true. But there were some very large companies in the 50s, 60's, 70's and 80's. But the CEO pay was more reasonable.
    You'll have to ask TXTOU that because he's the one that brought it up without defining exactly what eta he was talking about. That's why I worded my reply like I did regarding the difference in CEO pay.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    If tied to the lowest earner's pay, then I believe it only draws the CEO's earnings down, not the other way around. I already addressed why, but I'm still waiting for you to give reason to why you think it would help the employees in a meaningful way on the large scale market. Just because it feels good to you isn't a valid reason.
    If the CEO is concerned with the wages of his bottom earners, I don't see why you don't think that would benefit employees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    You'll have to ask TXTOU that because he's the one that brought it up without defining exactly what eta he was talking about. That's why I worded my reply like I did regarding the difference in CEO pay.
    The rate of CEO pay has exponentially gone higher than the average wage for the past 60-70 years so feel free to pick any year going back 50 or so years ago. CEO pay rate has gone up much faster than everyone else's pay rate.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    The rate of CEO pay has exponentially gone higher than the average wage for the past 60-70 years so feel free to pick any year going back 50 or so years ago. CEO pay rate has gone up much faster than everyone else's pay rate.
    If the owner(s)/board of directors of a company are OK with that gap, then they are. I don't see why we blame the ceo's for it.

    Extremely high ceo pay is a very American idea. Places like Japan do not pay theirs nearly as much. There has been several comparisons to America auto ceo's to Japanese auto ceo's in the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    If the owner(s)/board of directors of a company are OK with that gap, then they are. I don't see why we blame the ceo's for it.

    Extremely high ceo pay is a very American idea. Places like Japan do not pay theirs nearly as much. There has been several comparisons to America auto ceo's to Japanese auto ceo's in the past.
    I don't know how accurate it is, but I remember reading somewhere that Japanese manages will give some of their subordinates a day off with pay while the managers/CEOs perform the work of the workers. I think that gives CEOs and managers a sense of humility and an idea of the way their companies work.

    It's kind of like that goofy show Undercover Boss. While I know that some of that show is staged, it's nice to see CEOs struggle to do some of the "simpler" jobs of some of their employees, and they always seem to have some humility about them after they get "fired" by the manager in charge of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    I don't know how accurate it is, but I remember reading somewhere that Japanese manages will give some of their subordinates a day off with pay while the managers/CEOs perform the work of the workers. I think that gives CEOs and managers a sense of humility and an idea of the way their companies work.

    It's kind of like that goofy show Undercover Boss. While I know that some of that show is staged, it's nice to see CEOs struggle to do some of the "simpler" jobs of some of their employees, and they always seem to have some humility about them after they get "fired" by the manager in charge of them.
    I can tell you from experience that this does happen on at least a facility management level in Japanese companies. The company I have experience with did it on an almost daily basis during line worker's lunch trying to squeeze out more parts. I personally saw one of the VP's out loading parts on the line(which was a job usually done by temp workers).

    The Japanese have very different view of labor than we do though. In some ways like this, it is much better. In others, not so much.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by TXGTOU View Post
    If the CEO is concerned with the wages of his bottom earners, I don't see why you don't think that would benefit employees.
    Because on a large scale, the money simply isn't there to trade off and be meaningful. If you're happy with a $.03 raise and think it'll change your life, then more power to you. Otherwise that money will have to come from other places. Cut hours/staff, cut corners in the business (like using inferior parts in manufacturing because it's cheaper), raise prices, cut some regulations and their associated costs, or bring down the wages of pretty much every upper management employee and thus reduce their job satisfaction which can jeopardize the company's overall health. Take your pick, but to arbitrarily rise the bottom wages is going to require some sort of sacrifice that could hurt the company.

    Here's a novel idea. How about instead of the CEO's being chastised for their wealth, those low wage earners actually go out and prove they are worth more than they're paid. Once they bring their productivity up or learn a skill worthy of a higher wage, then they can start asking (not demanding) for it or find another company that would appreciate their new skills better. And before anyone drags out the false arguement of "well if they were paid more, they'd become more productive," here's another demonstration. Lets say you run a small business. In fact, you're the only one working it. You're the CEO and the lowly laborer. If you want to earn more for you and the business, are you going to simply raise your prices and expect your customers to willingly pay for the increase without starting to consider other options? No. You're going to have to show them your product is worth the higher cost first.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    If not only the current CEO, but the retired McDonald's CEO (via his company funded retirement) gave up 100% of their yearly earnings and gave it to the employees, it would only amount to less than a $0.03/hr raise.
    What are the values used for number of employees and the salaries/retirement plan?
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    Here's a novel idea. How about instead of the CEO's being chastised for their wealth, those low wage earners actually go out and prove they are worth more than they're paid. Once they bring their productivity up or learn a skill worthy of a higher wage, then they can start asking (not demanding) for it or find another company that would appreciate their new skills better.



    We've all seen this chart enough to question demanding more productivity in order to see stagnation begin to catch up to the already realized gains. Obviously now that it's this out of whack, a compromised reconciliation is required, but asking people to continue to do much more for no return is not working now, why would that change if they started doing much much more for no return?

    The market is a partnership and if it were free, you're right - it would find it's own balance. But it's not free, one side makes the rules and reaps all of the benefits while one side (approximately 60% of the country) gets either no gain or goes backwards in their spending power vs inflationary constraints.

    That isn't to say that quality of living from a technological interaction and resource abundance quotient perspective hasn't improved, but those improvements have absolutely not caught up with the gains realized by the recipients of productivity - the relationship is already one sided and you seem to be recommending to make it more so in the hopes that once it gets one sided enough that the receivers will feel suddenly feel thankful and reward the givers for their generosity of so many years.
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    Default Re: Morgan Spurlock Income Inequality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    When you consider that banks were pressured by regulation going back decades to make bad loans to unqualified home buyers, yes I believe it was over-regulation that got that ball rolling.
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