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Author Topic: The Myth of American Inequality  (Read 112 times)
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August 11, 2018, 12:05:45 PM
 #1

Read an article today in the Wall Street Journal which pretty much laid out that even though people try to tarnish America's reputation by stating that America is more unequal than other countries (in regard to income distribution), this fact isn't true through some simple fact checking and data analysis. As the problem with the current model which is used to determine inequality by country is that it doesn't represent the United States' governmental program transfers to the people within these programs.

I'm going to assume that this is due to the fact that there are so many US welfare programs, which stretch from federal programs to local programs -- meaning that there could be hundreds of thousands of programs which are present in the United States -- leading to an issue of underreporting benefits

I'm going to quote the article below and then provide the picture I took, as the archive.is link doesn't provide the picture which is pretty vital to this talk.

ARTICLE LINK - http://archive.is/RpY40

PICTURE LINK - https://imgur.com/a/8jWBarA

I'd love to have a discussion with all of you regarding anything I've posted here, even on the grounds of how truthful the article is. Thanks for the debate, I really do enjoy being a member of P&S

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August 11, 2018, 03:25:27 PM
Merited by suchmoon (7)
 #2

Got a couple interesting quotes from this article to show that other countries don't have the same amount of distributions as America does. Alongside this, the United States also has the most progressive income tax system out of the countries of its peers. It's peers also have some of the most regressive taxes in the world, which include the VAT system.

Quote from: Wall Street Journal
The poorest fifth of U.S. households receive 84.2% of their disposable income from taxpayer-funded transfers, and the second quintile gets 57.8%. U.S. transfer payments constitute 28.5% of Americans’ disposable income—almost double the 15% reported by the Census Bureau. That’s a bigger share than in all large developed countries other than France, which redistributes 33.1% of its disposable income.

Quote from: Wall Street Journal
The U.S. also has the most progressive income taxes of its peer group. The top 10% of U.S. households earn about 33.5% of all income, but they pay 45.1% of income taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes. Their share of all income-related taxes is 1.35 times as large as their share of income. In Germany, the top 10% pay 1.07 times their share of earnings. The top 10% of French pay 1.1 times their share.

Quote from: Wall Street Journal
Even these numbers understate how progressive the total tax burden is in America. The U.S. has no value-added tax and collects only 35.8% of all tax revenues from non-income-tax sources, the smallest share of any OECD country. Most developed countries have large VATs and collect a far larger share of their state revenue through regressive levies.

Quote from: Wall Street Journal
When all transfer payments and taxes are counted, the U.S. redistributes a larger share of its disposable income than any country other than France. Relative to the share of income they earn, the share of income taxes paid by America’s high earners is greater than the share of income taxes paid by their peers in any other OECD country. The progressive dream of an America with massive income redistribution and a highly progressive tax system has already come true. To make America even more like Europe, these dreamers will have to redefine middle-income Americans as “rich” and then double their taxes.

In all honesty, I probably didn't do the article much justice in my failure to explain everything -- though I do think this is a VERY interesting article and a good discussion.

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August 11, 2018, 04:57:51 PM
Merited by Foxpup (2)
 #3

I suppose you have to account for the bias of the source.  Without much effort I could counter all the things you just quoted.  It is extremely biased and misleading to say the least.

To give an analogy, let me use the recent study funded by the Koch brothers.  They funded a study to see how much single-payer healthcare would cost in America.  They are highly biased against it, so you can assume a little bias in their numbers to begin with.  I'm assuming the same study funded by a democratic socialist group would show lower numbers.

Their findings showed that it would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years.  The current cost is estimated to be $34.7 trillion, saving people over $2 trillion dollars.  Basically, a study funded by the opposition showed that it would save money.

My point is in how this was discussed on Fox News, a right-wing biased media... they say nothing of saving $2 trillion over the current system.  They only talk about the $32.6 trillion number, and "how will we afford that?"

It's a completely bogus way to present the situation, and 100% propaganda...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/30/bernie-sanders-medicare-for-all-bill-estimated-at-32-6t-study-says.html
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August 11, 2018, 06:09:01 PM
 #4

Quote
I suppose you have to account for the bias of the source.  Without much effort I could counter all the things you just quoted.  It is extremely biased and misleading to say the least.

Oh of course, this is always the case when it comes to quoting from the mainstream media. I'm not one to think that WSJ isn't AS BAD as other news companies, though I'm not going to sit here and say that they're this neutral party when it comes to news.

Though I don't think the points that I put forward are points that are open for so much bias. I think they're pretty straightforward in what they're trying to point to.

I do understand your points about the Koch brothers and everything like that, don't get me wrong I see it and such.

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August 11, 2018, 11:11:51 PM
 #5

Read an article today in the Wall Street Journal which pretty much laid out that even though people try to tarnish America's reputation by stating that America is more unequal than other countries (in regard to income distribution), this fact isn't true through some simple fact checking and data analysis. As the problem with the current model which is used to determine inequality by country is that it doesn't represent the United States' governmental program transfers to the people within these programs.

I'm going to assume that this is due to the fact that there are so many US welfare programs, which stretch from federal programs to local programs -- meaning that there could be hundreds of thousands of programs which are present in the United States -- leading to an issue of underreporting benefits

I'm going to quote the article below and then provide the picture I took, as the archive.is link doesn't provide the picture which is pretty vital to this talk.

ARTICLE LINK - http://archive.is/RpY40

PICTURE LINK - https://imgur.com/a/8jWBarA

I'd love to have a discussion with all of you regarding anything I've posted here, even on the grounds of how truthful the article is. Thanks for the debate, I really do enjoy being a member of P&S


The conclusions are wrong.

Inequality is there, but is eased with welfare is what your study says.

Welfare will never ever cure the reasons (biological, psychological or something different) for inequality it will just decrease the effects (no money).

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August 12, 2018, 08:31:28 PM
 #6

Very interesting question. But the bigger question is can we bank on the integrity of the sources you quoted? The best way to judge these things is to observe by yourself. Be on the ground and do some stock taking. A lot of the statistics around today can hardly be trusted. From personal observation, I must say a lot of inequality still exists. There's only one area I cannot say much. And that is when it is a comparison with other countries. But America still has some work to do concerning inequality in various spheres.
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August 18, 2018, 12:53:05 AM
 #7

Quote
The conclusions are wrong.

Inequality is there, but is eased with welfare is what your study says.

Welfare will never ever cure the reasons (biological, psychological or something different) for inequality it will just decrease the effects (no money).

Well yes, but all the article is trying to conclude is that the US is as unequal as other countries in the world. Saying otherwise is a lie that is trying to manipulate people into thinking a certain way.

Quote
Very interesting question. But the bigger question is can we bank on the integrity of the sources you quoted? The best way to judge these things is to observe by yourself. Be on the ground and do some stock taking. A lot of the statistics around today can hardly be trusted. From personal observation, I must say a lot of inequality still exists. There's only one area I cannot say much. And that is when it is a comparison with other countries. But America still has some work to do concerning inequality in various spheres.

As per anything in the news today, don't trust anything on first glance. You should be prepared to read into everything that the MSM puts out these days as you really can't trust anyone. People will take things out of context, misquote, or even outright lie when it comes to this new age of trying to get more sensational clicks.


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August 18, 2018, 04:46:39 AM
 #8

What you read was actually an opt-ed (an editorial published in the opinion section). It is important to make this distinction as it will disclose bias in the piece.

I agreed with what was written though. Our current system has a lot of disincentives to work via transfer payments and this results in the lower class receiving payments, when adjusting for taxes income very near those in the middle class.

The tax code is also very progressive, more so than the various tax brackets would imply, due in large part to the earned income tax credit, and similar programs.

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August 18, 2018, 04:59:01 AM
 #9

What you read was actually an opt-ed (an editorial published in the opinion section). It is important to make this distinction as it will disclose bias in the piece.

I agreed with what was written though. Our current system has a lot of disincentives to work via transfer payments and this results in the lower class receiving payments, when adjusting for taxes income very near those in the middle class.

The tax code is also very progressive, more so than the various tax brackets would imply, due in large part to the earned income tax credit, and similar programs.

Oh of course, I probably should have stated that -- though I did link the article so I don't feel as bad as if I just said it was an article with no link. Though I do think that this sort of consensus is the view of the people at the WSJ anyway, given that they usually have a slight right wing bias on things (depending on the subject, could lean father to the right or the left of course)

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August 18, 2018, 05:11:01 AM
 #10

In general, the WSJ will report the facts in their news articles and they do not leave out pertinent facts. In general I would say that a WSJ article will contain the “whole truth”, while it may have a slight bias to the right. This compares to other mainstream publications, such as the Washington post, which frequently publishes news articles with outright bias, and often contain opinions and often important facts are omitted or downplayed.

The editorial section will have a strong bias to the right unless a Democrat congressman/senator/president submits a piece, in which case they will publish it.

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August 18, 2018, 03:07:05 PM
 #11

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The editorial section will have a strong bias to the right unless a Democrat congressman/senator/president submits a piece, in which case they will publish it.

That's the point I was trying to get at, I was more or less trying to say that they are still slanted right -- as with the rest of the WSJ. Even though the slant may be a good amount more present, it's still the general view of the WSJ

Talking about good news sources, I would say the WSJ (non-editorial section, regular articles) is the best news source which is currently out there. I would have to say that both CNN, FOX, CNBC, (and all those other ones) are pretty partisan and sensationalist

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August 18, 2018, 03:09:10 PM
Last edit: August 18, 2018, 10:01:18 PM by BADecker
 #12

American inequality is within America.

Some people force other people to pay taxes, because they are stronger than the other people. no equality there.

Cool
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