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Date: 2018-05-22 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0300-Inequality


Inequality ... TPB commentary:
The fact of growing inequality has been evident for a very long time ... since the 1980s.
There have been periods of inequity in the past, notably during the 'roaring 20s' and the age of the 'Robber Barrons' in the 19th century. Subsequent recession and depression after these periods reduced the inequality, but at terrible cost.
In the case of the modern growth of inequality it is remarkable that economists, business leaders and politicians and policy makers seem incapable or unwilling to do anything that will improve the situation.
There has to be a reason. But nobody talks about it.
The Burgess TVM hypothesis is that the conventional ways of thinking about the socio-enviro-economic system are fundamentally wrong, and the measures of economic performance completely fail to reflect the complex linkages of the system in a meaningful way. By assuming that the accumulation of wealth correlates to a better society, a better economy and a better quality of life, not to mention having no negative impact on the environment ... almost every decision pushes in the wrong direction.
Change the metrics and it is likely that a lot of decisions will be made in a much better way.
The following graphs show the growth in inquality over the past four decades

Inequality in the US
For the period from 1980 to 2015, the bottom 50% of the US population has shared less and less of the total GDP while the top 50% has been increasing its share.

A 32 page report of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
Key Findings
Insulated from the real costs of the climate degradation they help create, fossil fuel executives are enjoying stratospheric pay.
Beating the S&P 500 average: CEOs of the 30 largest U.S. publicly held oil, gas, and coal companies averaged $14.7 million in total 2014 compensation, over 9 percent more than the $13.5 million S&P 500 CEO average. The top executives at ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips each earned more than twice the S&P 500 average.
Five years, $6 billion: The management teams of America’s top 30 fossil fuel giants — the CEO, CFO, and next three highest-paid officers of each company — have together taken home nearly $6 billion over the past five years.
Open PDF ... IPS-Executive-Excess-2015-Money-To-Burn

720 960

623 359

750 531

1200 874

1157 815

The state of US inequality - 2012
The following graphic is from YES Magazine which adapted it from Hedrick Smith's book 'Who Stole the American Dream?'

A survey about inequality carried out in 2010
What Americans wanted the distribution of income to be ... what they thought it was ... what it actually was

This is a bizarre state of affairs. Interesting that the study also summarizes how the wealth of these people has changed over the year.
It would be interesting to make the comparison with how the wealth of ordinary working class folk has changed over this one year, and also over the past 40 years, or say a couple of generations. Back in the late 1060s a lot of working class families had some considerable material wealth, accumulated slowly over the years. Since then, however there has been an orchestrated effor to convert this modest wealth into consumption and immediate gratification. Bit ny bit workers' wealth has been transferred to the banks and to corporations to make their profits and sustain their stock prices. Worse, more and more of the products being sold were increasingly being made overseas where costs were lower than buying in the USA and profits could be higher. Over time employment declined in the United States. It is worth noting that ALL the dollars that got to China went there because the US private economy sent them there in order to enable their business model and their profits ... none of them went to China via the US Government!
Open external link

Open PDF ... Peoples-Policy-Project-Top-160-Americans-Now-Control-$2-Trillion-Of-Wealth

Open PDF ... Gender-pay-inequality-The-Simple-Truth

The text being discussed is available at

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