Rich America versus Poor America: stats about the wealth gap


#39

Nowhere have I said the wealth gap isn’t a problem. I am saying that it is a choice to make in the climate of such disparity. In other words, using your analogy, I’m saying “The sea levels are rising whether we like it or not. Until we solve this debacle we better start moving inland.” Am I happy with this choice? No. But with what appears to be an average of $200-250,000 cost of raising a child, what would you suggest in the current financial climate?


#40

Yes, I do think that is a major factor for many people. You implied that you yourself are one of them.


#41

I find it fucked up too, really…


#42

I hope that’s a factor. When I consider all the people out there I’ve heard refer to the “Little Tax Write-offs” I feel moderately disgusted.


#43

I haven’t heard anyone refer to their kids that way but I do hear the “poor people in this country are breeding out of control!” claim being repeated quite a bit. That characterization bothers me because

  1. Poor Americans today are having fewer kids than ever before, and
  2. The U.S. would actually be experiencing a population drop right now if it weren’t for immigration.

So yeah, I do think it sounds like victim blaming to bring up the cost of kids when discussing causes of the growing wealth gap.


#44

Some information that I am copying from the McDonald’s thread ( McDonald’s advises hungry, sick employees to get welfare benefits ) where we also had someone who wanted to blame women for having sex and refused to acknowledge that (1) 49% of pregnancies are unintended in the US, (2) sexually-active women have to use contraceptives correctly and consistently for up to 30 years to avoid becoming pregnant, (3) contraceptives are not 100% effective or easily accessible, and (4) people can have kids and then become poor.

A 2009 study of low- and middle-income sexually active women found that 52% of them were worse off financially than the year before. Of those who were worse off, three-quarters said that they could not afford to have a baby right then. And while nearly four in 10 of those worse off reported being more careful in their contraceptive use in the current economic climate, many of the financially challenged women reported barriers to contraceptive use: 34% said they had a harder time paying for birth control, 30% had put off a gynecology or birth control visit to save money, 25% of pill users saved money through inconsistent use and 56% of those with jobs worried about having to take time off from work to visit a doctor or clinic.

Link: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/CPSW-testimony.pdf

Even if women are using contraceptives, typically 9% of them on the pill will get pregnant while 18% of those using condoms will get pregnant ( http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html ). And before anyone says anything, there is a reason why they quote perfect use and typical use numbers. Also, please no men explaining to women how easy it is to take the pill perfectly.

Obamacare says that women can get birth control without a co-payment or having the cost of the services applied to their deductible if they go to a doctor covered by their insurance. Multiple states, however, allow doctors or pharmacists to refuse contraceptives or sterilization: http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_RPHS.pdf

Sorry if this is basically a rant, but I was rather annoyed by that discussion .


#45

I just hope you realize “Sounds like” and actual meaning are two different things. Not that I’m not used to or indifferent to it in regards to this subject of children and perhaps I haven’t stated the position eloquently enough.

But I do have to ask where you’re getting " Poor Americans today are having fewer kids than ever before". Do you have a linky?


#46

Nah, it’s fine. I kinda figured it would be shitty (and that women would be forced to pay, and then be fucked about anyway). not cheering, but informative. Thanks.


#47

What a totally unproductive response…


#48

i completely disagree.

does wealth magically accumulate? in truth, it does not. monopolies, for example, are a poor idea. effectively managing an extremely large business isn’t necessarily cost efficient. as a business grows eventually management may cost as much or more than service/production. that does not include embezzlement by management or employees. rich people are not exempt from expenses.

here’s an example of “how rich people subvert democracy” in america. i remember finding this on boingboing.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/08/wealthy-fund-manager-avoids-felony-charges-running-cyclist/

not even that rich. now the politicians you mention… they are inordinately well to do. studies may not show it. news articles sometimes don’t mention it. of course, the board of a college might have some influence on studies produced. owners of media outlets may have rules they impose. so not a perfect example. maybe no one sees rich people subvert democracy.

does wealth magically appear? no. there are more people in our world today than were here yesterday. the industries and technologies of our time continue to evolve. disparity isn’t the whole story. the disparity of wealth in the face of the growing global economy is incredible.


#49

Bwahahahahahaha!!!

Anyways, yeah. Then I’ll sum it up by pointing out the biggest way these bums have power is Debt. And you should look at the top things that create your Debt and eliminate them. My experience with people and the things that make the most Debt are generally cars, houses and yes, children.


#50

i don’t agree. yes, debt can become crippling. this is not the result of debt. the current financial situation closely resembles the s&l scandal/disaster of the early 90’s. http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/SavingsandLoanCrisis.html i disagree with econlib.org’s forgiving the people who caused the crisis without facts. however, it’s a good enough outline of events. what happened then, on a smaller scale, is exactly what i am looking at now. people in positions of importance either unmindful or actively criminal.

you should stay away from asking me about my debt. bwaha.


#51

“this is not the result of debt.”

I think we should clarify what “It” is before going farther. For me it’s not how they got in power. It’s how they currently have power. And although Debt isn’t the entire reason, it’s the biggest chunk of it. You point out the S&L scandal of the 80s, I point out the proliferation of the credit card in the 80s. “Yes, spend money you do not have at 15 to 20 percent interest!” You can point out the criminality of one event from the 80s, but I’m pointing out an event that started there and is ongoing.

How do they keep power beyond the injustice of “Too big to fail”? In my opinion it’s because We participate. We spend money we don’t have. And the only way We as individuals can get out of it is know who the creeps are and not spend our money there.


#52

disparity of wealth, the topic, that is it. disparity of wealth to the extent shown is not the result of debt.


#53

But it is a path to solution. Too many people shop at Walmart, bank with Wells Fargo, Bank of Amerika, etc. If you do, you’re doing business with the Wealthy in question.


#54

Of course, some people do put unnecessary things on credit cards, but there are not too few who put things like doctors expenses and groceries on credit cards. Courts tend to side with the banks/lenders, and garnish wages and things like social security, regardless if they person can afford to pay it. And of course, .

We prop up the system with our buying habits, because the end of consumption would indeed crash the system–as awesome as that may sound, it would have consequences that need to be fully understood. We live in a consumer capitalist system. The less we spend, the less our economy hums. I don’t think that is in dispute. This is true even in terms of say energy. If we stopped coal mining in west Virginia or drilling off the coasts, that would have real world economic consequences for the people who live there. Are they being exploiting and are these industries fucking up the environment–absolutely. But if you just stop these jobs, what are they people there going to do as an alternative?


#55

Actually, I think the choice of whether or not to shop at wal-mart is not nearly as clear cut as you make it seem. It’s based on what your options are, how much money you have, etc. If that is the only place to get decently priced groceries or cheap (new) clothing, then that’s likely where you will go.


#56

it is possible to avoid corporations and financial institutions in personal life. is that really the point? if someone provides something worthwhile isn’t that valuable to someone else?


#57

It all depends what it costs you, doesn’t it?


#58

And then the customer contributes to the low-wage infrastructure, whether the customer is aware of it or not. If we actively participate in the companies that exploit a broken system it leaves us little wiggle room to complain or change things…