Wealth inequality in America (video)

I came across this a few days ago and am just now getting around to posting it. I thought I had a reasonably good understanding of the wealth inequality in America. I was wrong.



Categories: Money, video content

23 replies

  1. This is really shocking, PT. Thanks for posting it. I wonder if someone has done something like this for the UK?

  2. I have now seen this clip in several places, PT, but you are doing a public service to air it further. I wish everyone in the country could see it. What a shocker!

    • I knew there was a huge disparity between the !% and the rest of the country, but I never imagined it was as bad as depicted here. Graphics are useful to me simply because in my head any number over, say, a million, just becomes “a whole lot.”

  3. I’m no Socialist, far from it actually, but I think the reality depicted in this video might actually be worse! 😯

  4. Reblogged this on I Want Ice Water and commented:
    If I had to classify myself in political terms, I’d have to say I’m more of a Libertarian than anything else. I am most definitely NOT a Socialist. But I think the reality depicted in this video might actually be worse than Socialism!

  5. Usually inequality is discussed in terms of income, but it’s interesting to see it in terms of wealth. The video is a little melodramatic, but inequality is a problem in the US. My last blog entry tried to talk about the impact of tax and transfer policy on inequality.

  6. Excellent find!! You just bought yourself a subscriber. 🙂 I come via the “I Want Ice Water” blog.

  7. Frightening, isn’t it? And one group that should be frightened, and is not, is the one percent. If they know anything about history, when the gap becomes unbearable revolution always results. In the interest of their own preservation, the one percent ought to be finding ways to spread the wealth, not hoard it.

    • You raise an interesting hypothetical, Gabby. Just how do you think such a revolution might manifest? Possibilities I can think of:

      1. Occupy Wall Street demonstrations (again)?
      2. A resurgence of labor unions?
      3. Militia groups defending tax-free zones?
      4. An electorate change from Republican to Democrat?
      5. A resurgent Libertarian Party?

      Also, it occurs to me that if any of the above threaten and we have the wrong person in the White House, there will be a temptation to resort to the classic way to unite the body politic: go to war.

      • I suspect any such revolution would feature violent protests in the streets so powerful and widespread that the government would be unable to control them. I certainly hope that never happens in the U.S. But it has happened in many other places, and recently.

    • I’m really on the fence about this. A capitalist system depends on the ability of people to work hard, climb the ladder, become successful, and reap the rewards of their hard work. I have a hard time saying they should be penalized for being successful. Many of the wealthy are extremely generous with charities, public works, contributions, etc. Our not knowing about it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. We benefit from their charitable works, their community leadership, and their companies and products. On the other hand, when you are poor, hungry, out of work, sick, struggling, it’s very hard to make this argument when you see the very wealthy carrying on as though they live on another planet. Or worse, enacting (or buying the enactment of) laws that make things more difficult for the “little guy” and easier for themselves. I think it’s not so much the wealth itself as the conspicuous abuse of power it affords (or the perception thereof) that infuriates the public.

      Of course, once the revolution starts, it won’t really matter, will it?

      • We do need to maintain a gap for our system to work, but the problem now is that the gap is too wide. Some one percenters who could start a movement toward common sense reside in the U.S. Senate. They get tremendous perks. Why not set an example by cutting their own extra benefits by 10 or more percent? That might be inspirational.

      • Actually, I think how the revolution starts will matter, a lot. The last time this thing came to a head was, I think, the “Gilded Age”. There was a lot of violence and a lot of people died.

        One thing that’s easy to forget on the matter of charitable works by the wealthy is that it has multiple side benefits. It is tax deductible, it is good advertising, and it buys political access and influence. So I tend to be not so sanguine on it, PT. Color me skeptical.

        • I’m generally skeptical too, but I personally know of at least one exception. So I hold out hope that even among the very wealthy, there are at least a few good people who willingly and anonymously do good things with their money.

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