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Date: 2018-11-20 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-XR-Inequality


ECONOMIC ISSUES
INEQUALITY
Getting worse for decades


INEQUALITY
A problem that has been growing for about 4 decades ... and ignored for all this time. Rich 'successful' people are responsible for this and will not do anything about it.
Obscene Wealth Terrible Poverty Juxtaposed More ... Open L0700-XR-Inequality

INEQUALITY IN THE USA
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.

WHY IS THERE INEQUALITY?
WHY IS THERE INEQUALITY?
It really is quite simple.
The people at the top are getting paid too much, and the people at the bottom are being paid too little
WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
This is not rocket science!
People at the top should be paid much less, and everyone eles should be paid a lot more
WHY DOESN'T THAT HAPPEN?
People at the top make all the decisions about pay ... and this solution does not maximize wealth for the people at the top, so it never gets done!
BUT THIS HAS TO HAPPEN
Sooner rather than later ... people at the top must be held accountable for the decisions that they make, and especially the decisions that are self serving making themselves wealthy and leaving the rest of society struggling.


EXCESSIVE EXECUTIVE REMUNERATION
A 32 page report of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) ... IPS 2015 / Executive Excess ... Money To Burn
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.
Report of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
'http://truevaluemetrics.org/DBpdfs/Initiatives/IPS/IPS-Executive-Excess-2015-Money-To-Burn.pdf'
Open PDF ... IPS-Executive-Excess-2015-Money-To-Burn

Is anyone paying attention?
It is a disgrace that 'leadership' has done nothing to address the problem of increasing inequality for a very long time ... essentially all of my adult life. This problem has been growing without any response by leadership for upwards of 40 years and even today it is a subject that people at the 'top' seem unable to talk about. It needs to be addressed.

Pre-tax income growth in the United States
The bottom 50% of wage earners in the United States have made no economic progress in more than 30 years ... since the Reagan administration ... and to a great extent because of the Reagan administration. At the very top, that is the top 1% or the top 10%, income growth has been spectacular ... while the 40% in the middle have seen improvement, but not really very much, and nothing like what was achieved in the previous generation or two. It should come as no surprise that there is a level of discontent in the USA (and in Europe) that is higher today than at any time since the Second World War.
Share of income earned by top 1%, 1975 - 2015
Some countries have concentrated income earned towards the top rather modestly, but not so in the United States, the UK, Canada and Germany. The concentration of wealth towards the top 1% in the United States has been exceptional.
Inequality getting back to the levels seen in the 1920s
The Gini Index which measures inequality shows that the levels have been rising since the Reagan years and are now approaching the levels last seen in the 1920s prior to the stock market crash of 1920 and the subsequent depression.

US real wages flatline for more than 40 years
Wages from working have not improved significantly for a very long time ... but is far worse than this trend would suggest. This is an average. The 'average' is better than the reality for a very large number of people because, while there are many in the working community whose wages have indeed gone up, it is offset by many whose real wages have gone down. The reality is that the pain for those whose wages have gone down is larger than the joy for the people whose wages have gone up, something that thoughtless numbering tends to overlook!
Productivity up ... but not wages
There has been a continuum of productivity improvement from 1947, soon after the end of the Second World War to the present time, but there has not been the same continuum of wage improvement for the people who work for a living. This graphic from Robert Reich shows how productivity and wages had the same trajectory of improvement from 1947 until the 1970s ... an era of 'Great Prosperity'. From 1980 to the present time, productivity continued its improvement but wages flatlined ... and era of 'Great Regression'.
Productivity up ... but not wages
This shows the same relationship between productivity and wages. Academic economists and economists working at think-tanks and in government policy making positions have failed completely to get action to change this state of affairs, not for a short while, but essentially for 40 years! This is the sort of dysfunction that is very dangerous for the world. What is the point of doing the analysis, if nothing gets done to fix the problems identified.
Profits per job going up ... but not wages
The profits per job have been going up strongly since 1990, with some slippage just before and after 2000 asociated with the bursting of the dot.com bubble. Though management could have chosen to increase wages, they chose instead to keep wages as low as possible. At the same time rewards to executive management and stockholders increased.
Profits versus Wages as a % of GDP
This shows exactly the same trajectory ... strong growth in profits except for the short period around 2000, and a flatlining or decline of wages during the same period.

Affluence in close proximity to poverty
In some ways the problem of inequality is accentuated because there is great affluence in close proximity to poverty. The poor are easily able to observe how the top of society is living and compare it to their own situation ... and it is not comforting. These scenes are replicated in almost every major city in the world. There are some good things associated with the growth of major urban cities, but the growth of slums is not one of them.

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?'



The text being discussed is available at


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