1. What are your thoughts on Wilkinson's video?
I always thought this was about the other person when I saw it on the news. All those Economists with their statistics did not get through to me. It was just words. But here Wilkinson links everything together with facts and studies. He took it right down to the gut level and showed me it all around me all the time. Albeit just a small portion of the video, the part about how it effects me at a biological subconscious level was especially interesting. No wonder I feel stressed out all the time. Thank you for posting this video.
Was America doing better in term of violence, infant mortality, etc... when the inequality was not as bad as today ? (like in the 70s).
I am playing the devil's advocate here, but as a scientist, I would like to see more...
But anyway I was intuitively convinced of all these even before seing the video :)
Another very interesting documentary that I would recommend on this topic (that nicely complements the TED talk) is "inequality for all" by Robert Reich (former secretary of labor under the Clinton's administration): http://inequalityforall.com/
You can certainly find it also on legal streaming platforms.
The data presented are also amazing.
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did :-)
There can be no denying Robert Reich's esteem on the stage as a great thinker when it comes to economic inequality. Here is a listing of the solutions he offers to shrink economic inequality from the Nation in 2014: https://www.thenation.com/article/how-s ... nequality/Very interesting conference with convincing data, although that would have been nice to see the same correlations over time.
Was America doing better in term of violence, infant mortality, etc... when the inequality was not as bad as today ? (like in the 70s).
I am playing the devil's advocate here, but as a scientist, I would l....
Re: Let us know what you think about Wilkinson's video?
A listing of the article's essential components needed to bring about the shrinkage of economic inequality is as follows:
1) Make work pay.
2) Unionize low-wage workers.
3) Invest in education.
4) Invest in infrastructure.
5) Pay for these investments with higher taxes on the wealthy.
6) Make the payroll tax progressive.
7) Raise the estate tax and eliminate the “stepped-up basis” for determining capital gains at death.
8) Constrain Wall Street.
9) Give all Americans a share in future economic gains.
10) Get big money out of politics.
Still, I think the most important thing Dr. Reich states for us to do is to build a new progressive movement. Without this his suggestions for shrinking economic inequality will be marginalized.
So how will this progressive movement come about? A troubling aspect for me is the article's lack of understanding about the time frames needed to bring the movement forward. There seems to be little comprehension we are crossing into the realm of the technological singularity where the time frames of the past are no longer applicable to even the near future. Relatively speaking, what originally took thousands of generations for humanity to accomplish will be exceeded exponentially in a heartbeat. The near term is important for us to control because the dawning singularity needs to be steered out of the hands of the wealthy elite at it's inception. In other words, the mechanisms Dr. Reich refers to needed to bring about a reduction of economic inequality are outdated and insufficient to accomplish the stated tasks. Here are some of the reasons I believe we need a new progressive mechanism to match the new age we are entering:Building a Movement
It’s doubtful that these and other measures designed to reverse widening inequality will be enacted anytime soon. Having served in Washington, I know how difficult it is to get anything done unless the broad public understands what’s at stake and actively pushes for reform.
That’s why we need a movement for shared prosperity—a movement on a scale similar to the Progressive movement at the turn of the last century, which fueled the first progressive income tax and antitrust laws; the suffrage movement, which won women the vote; the labor movement, which helped animate the New Deal and fueled the great prosperity of the first three decades after World War II; the civil rights movement, which achieved the landmark Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts; and the environmental movement, which spawned the National Environmental Policy Act and other critical legislation.
From post #6 posted on May 11th 2017 by Doctor A. under the topic, Pitchforks And Torches Will No Longer Be Able To Stop The 1%.
I am of the same opinion as Doctor A's time assessment when I posted under the same topic with post #7 on May 16th, 2017:Unfortunately, because the creation of new laws is mostly based upon past actions, it almost always lags behind technological developments. As we draw closer to the Singularity, this time differential between past actions and the creation of new laws may very well decrease due to new technology in the legal arena itself. But overall, in absolute terms, it will take more time to develop these laws. This is because the new laws will need to be developed in some ratio to the exponentially accelerating new technology being developed. One can envision a legal system not capable of keeping up with the dizzying array of new social implications needing regulation and control. Of course there will be technological developments in the legal arena itself to aid in the processing of this technological onslaught. But one can see a scenario where even the new legal technology will be overwhelmed at some point. With an absolute increase in time needed to process the new technology, forms of human rights abuse will multiply against those individuals least capable of defending themselves.
The FRC website makes clear that time is of the essence when it asks, "Why Is The Community Business Venture So Important?," and then goes on to explain,Taken all together, the conservatives who are currently in power will have the opportunity to abuse the legal system in their favor now and even more so in the future. With shortened time frames between technological events, and with massive quantities of events, by the time we as an underclass figure out what is going on with individual and corporate actions, we will be severely injured by the elite. In the blink of an eye, and without technology capable of keeping up in the law profession relative to other arenas, a significant amount of damage can be done. When seen through Mr. Chomsky's view that the Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history, and combined with their staunch allies like those corporations creating their own regulations through a process of, “regulation capture,” there is little wonder as to why we need to be fearful and take action now, not later.
A Trump presidency now tips the scale in the direction of a conservative ideological domination with the wealthy elites determined at all costs to control the technological Singularity. This is why your ideas and solutions are so important now, not later. In Singularity time, later is always too late. It is a now-or-never moment with the outcome of humanity hanging in the balance. Clearly, the FirstRateCrowd community business venture gives us a means to tip the scale back in our direction.
The website continues to address this question of timeliness when it presents,
Peter Diamandis—founder and chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation as well as cofounder and executive chairman of Singularity University—is well situated to understand this new, accelerated standard for thinking. In his December 2016 video titled "Imagining the Future: The Transformation of Humanity" he bemoans his conversations with undisclosed Silicon Valley friends, technologists, and colleagues: "People have no idea how fast things are moving....” In an evolutionary or Darwinian sense, not knowing how fast something is moving can lead to the rapid extinction of a species. Perhaps Herbert Spencer's expression "survival of the fittest" is as timely now as it was over a century ago.
Where I think Dr. Reich's article really excels is when he argues,
However this mobilization to counter those wealthy individuals who wish to actually do us harm needs to be a different paradigm moving forward. One cannot fight a war with the last war's technology and strategies. It is especially true regarding the timeliness of the mobilization because political solutions from days gone by will also no longer be adequate. This is today's reality as we move towards an ever accelerating technological singularity.We have no choice. But we must organize and mobilize in order that it be done.
This brings me to the central point as to why the Community Business Venture is so important. It allows us to organize with new ideas, technology and innovations as a means to mobilize. These ideas will need to come from the collaborative efforts of our member's collective psyche. It is the only way we can win. A good example of these new ideas is the Economic Inequality Rating App (EIRA) (found on the home page). Once developed, and with a sufficient amount of the population using it, it is a guaranteed way to stop economic inequality. Whereas Wilkinson's video points out the corrosive effects of economic inequality upon our society, FRC gives us the tools to fight back. Wilkinson presents the problems, FRC offers the solutions.
After watching the video I now have a much greater sense of what is happening in the world around me. Prior to watching the video I did not have a mental framework to link the dots. What was happening around me was confusing. Now it is quite evident inequality is the driving force for almost everything I do not like.
Finland is the world's happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday that found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.
I found this information in WorldWhile U.S. income per capita has increased markedly over the last half century, happiness has been hit by weakened social support networks, a perceived rise in corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions.
"We obviously have a social crisis in the United States: more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government," the head of the SDSN, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of New York's Columbia University, told Reuters as the report was launched at the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
"It's pretty stark right now. The signs are not good for the U.S. It is getting richer and richer but not getting happier."
Finland is world's happiest country, U.S. discontent grows: U.N. report
By Philip Pullella
March 14, 2018 https://www.yahoo.com/news/finland-worl ... nance.html
Also, Doctor A says the following in his post today from a different topic, Re: Don't be fooled by the wealthy's economic research deception
Posted on: » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:32 am
3 Myths About Globalization; Anyone Still Embracing These Three Myths Is Most Likely In The Pocket Of The Rich, Has A Screw Loose, Or Both.
It is quite clear to me now that although the wealth of the USA has increased, so has economic inequality and the subsequent change is a decrease in happiness. Such a deal!Globalization has led to a rise in global income inequality, not a reduction
Inequality between individuals across the world is the result of two competing forces: inequality between countries and inequality within countries. For example, strong growth in China and India contributed to significant global income growth, and therefore, decreased inequality between countries. However, inequality within these countries rose sharply. The top 1% income share rose from 7% to 22% in India, and 6% to 14% in China between 1980 and 2016.
This is from a Vox article, Income inequality is changing how we think, live, and die, by By Sean Jun 14, 2018. https://www.vox.com/2018/5/24/17368308/ ... in-america
Researcher Keith Payne has found something surprising: When people flying coach are forced to walk past the pampered first-class flyers in the front of the plane, the likelihood of some sort of air rage incident rises sharply.
In his 2017 book The Broken Ladder, Payne, a social psychologist at the University of North Carolina, argues that humans are hardwired to notice relative differences. When we’re reminded that we’re poorer or less powerful than others, we become less healthy, more angry, and more politically polarized.
What people underappreciate is how having extreme inequality driven by the high end of wealth also causes trouble for society and for people’s well-being. Poverty is a related but separate problem. The presence of extreme inequality destabilizes a society in ways that are hard to understand but absolutely devastating.
The article's author then presented the following question to the social psychologist and here is the exchange below,The perception of inequality around us has a couple of different effects. One is that it makes the average person feel poorer, [in] comparison to those who have more. And the second is that it raises our expectations. It raises our standards for what we think it is to be normal. Now, that all seems very subjective, but when you perceive yourself as poor compared to other people, that sets off a chain of events that translates into physical outcomes.
This really drives home the counter-intuitive impact of economic inequality. In other words, individuals may be impoverished but if there is less of an economic inequality gradient, there is the possibility they can be healthier physically, psychologically, and have a more functional society. Perhaps this explains some of the reports I have read where some of the less wealthy countries have a higher ranking on happiness and contentment reports than more wealthy countries.Sean Illing
Do you think we would be healthier and happier if we had more poverty and less inequality?
I think there’s a case to be made that trading off some measures of wealth, like the gross domestic product, would be worth it for the benefits that come with reduced inequality. The problem now isn’t that there’s too much wealth; it’s that nearly all of the increases are going to the wealthiest members of society.
The bigger the difference in wealth between most of the nation’s citizens vs. the wealthiest AND/OR the individuals in charge the worse that country ranks in terms of mental health, specifically something I realized but never knew was definable, least of all quantifiable. If I emotionally set aside all the other problems caused by the hoarding of wealth, which easily overwhelms me, I can see economic inequality for the trend that it really is. All trends, like fashion, can go out of style if the right person or amount of people make it so.
When Wilkinson pointed out that E.I. influences a nation’s perceived social hierarchy I was at a loss. This was the magic straw. In the video and for the first time was something I had experienced, contemplated, feared, and in the end, let rule my life and never even knew it was happening – until now. What exactly did Richard Wilkinson point out? Hmmm, let’s see if I were to ignore the fact that growing up in a country with a high E.I. my social mobility is greatly determined by my parents. If they have money, I would have money and it would be easier to get money later in life. My parents did not have money. Regardless, hard work paid off. I climbed and then, I sank. It is here that I want to reference Wilkinson’s video and to me the most disturbing fact. That being, a country’s E.I. directly affects an individual’s perceived social hierarchy, meaning that if an individual did not originate from the highest bracket of the wealthiest group, these outside issues will hammer a nail into someone’s social, mental, and emotional stability, effectively silencing the little voice that says, “Yes, you can do this. Yes, you do deserve this. Yes, you do belong here”.
I think it’s very important that citizens of high E.I. realize that it is harming them, and it is doing so in a vastly different and subtle way. Richard Wilkinson’s video has really helped me grasp the concept of economic inequality. Suddenly, it changed from a vague problem I have no influence over into something manageable with a real-world solution for putting a much-needed trend out of style.
Hoping for the best,
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