"Explaining wages and employment by well-behaved supply and demand
functions for labour is of doubtful logic."
-- Robert L. Vienneau (2005). "On Labour Demand and Equilibria
of the Firm", _Manchester School_, V. 73, N. 5 (Sep.): 612-619
Before John can coherently argue with the published literature, he
first needs to read the relevant literature. But before that, he needs
to learn how to read. Until he does both, he is just fumbling.
Whether strength of body or of mind, or wisdom, or virtue,
are found in proportion to the power or wealth of a man is
Always apply KISS when discrediting rightards:
Try to get then to answer The Question:
"Does free speech precede each and every free trade?"
That way everyone can watch them cut 'n run and know they are nothing
but cowardly frauds.
No muss no fuss.
"If monied interests pay outspoken market economists to dodge
questions fundamental to markets, next thing you know, you have a lot
of market economists dodging issues fundamental to markets."
-- Bret Cahill
There's a more frequent collection instrument called the CPS ([something]
Also look at IRS statistical reports.
I don't know exactly which instruments are top-coded, but I'm sure lots of
On the one hand, superrich people might argue that they have special
security concerns. (Know exact location ==> kidnapping etc)
On the other hand, I think a lot of this data is hard to get even at the
national level. Particularly wealth data (rather than income).
On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 16:27:34 -0500, "pico" <pico.pico.pico> wrote:
I've seen it too, from time to time; the Fed's Survey of Consumer
Finances, for example, removed the top 1/1500 of its sample in the
"Thus, for the 4,522 families interviewed for the survey, there are
22,610 records in the data set. Three observations were deleted for
the public version of the data set for purposes of disclosure
avoidance; thus, there are 22,595 records in the public data set for
4,519 families. The codebook provides more detail on the structure of
the data set and the steps taken for disclosure avoidance."
-- Roy L
It's a statistical term -- the "normal" distribution is a standard
curve. Income doesn't fit it very well. But the point is, most rich
people don't want income distribution analyzed at all. It makes them
It's not the the rich are ashamed. They are afraid. Or, if they
aren't, it's possible they should be. When Revolutions occur, the
rich tend to get strung up. And, in any case, they certainly make the
best targets for robbery. No matter how well armed they might be.
So what objective evidence would you use to support your claimed
insight into the thoughts and feelings of wealthy people?
Also, you didn't answer my other question: what conclusions would you
draw from the fact that wealth in the USA is unevenly distributed?
Actually, that's a pretty good question: "what conclusions can we draw
from the fact that wealth is very, very unevenly distributed in the
specifically: 71% of the wealth is controlled by 10% of the
population. More or Less. And somewhere between 20% and 40% of the
wealth is controlled by just 1% of the population.
Well, they could all be smarter and harder working than everyone
But is Bill Gates really a million times smarter than the average
American? Or does he work a million times harder? I don't think
There's luck. They might be lucky. Probably, they are, to some
Wealth is often inherited. I think this is a critical point. A
wealthy background gives access to the best schools, and resources to
start business enterprises. It takes money to make money.
I think if inheriting money were made illegal, a better case could be
made for "merit" based wealth. But how many rich people give all
their money to charity in their wills? They want their children to
have an advantage, don't they?
I have argued that the rich are greedier than most. They just want
money more. Is this good, or bad? That depends on what they do to
get it, I suppose!
So? There is no algorithm for determining how much wealth one should
obtain. There is no natural law that dictates how wealth is
accumulated. You can wish that were the case, but that does not make
it so. Not all effort produces equivalent wealth in the marketplace.
Lots of really smart people work very hard and go bankrupt -- them's
the breaks, as they say.
Warren Buffet, for example, was not lucky -- he worked hard and failed
at alot of things before becoming successful.
Certainly there is some element of luck, in the sense that some of us
are born into better circumstances than others. But there is no
shortage of real life "rags to riches" stories either. These "unlucky"
people were able to obtain great wealth.
This is a myth. In the USA, only about 20 percent of millionaires
inherited 10% or more of their wealth.
Another source estimates about 15% of millionaires inherited their
Too many hollywood movies out there that portray the opposite.
That's true, but it is no guarantee by any stretch. No doubt though,
the children of wealthy parents have a distinct advantage in that
So that's life -- who said it was fair? You can whine about it and get
sucked in by the victim-mongers who would benefit from your
victimhood, or you can refuse to use that as an excuse.
Nope. Lots of people in this country have become successful
businessmen, entrepreneurs, investors, etc. starting from nothing.
Well, that's their right. They earned the money, the can do what they
want with it.
The wealth of the United States is currently based on the destruction
and exploitation of Iraq. Raping, murdering, maiming and killing.
The health care industry bases its wealth on the exploitation of the
sick and vulnerable:
- psychoactive drugs for children and the emotionally vulnerable that
cure nothing, and make them billions.
- AIDS treatments that are fabulously expensive and never cure.
- organ transplants that are fabulously expensive, do not improve
quality of life, and result in death within months.
The "Law Enforcement Industry" in the United States does not enforce
law, it makes money.
Disparity of wealth is an indicator of a not too recent loss of
democratic freedom which is even more to be feared than poverty.
There's a time lag with freedom preceding equality of wealth and loss
of freedom preceding disparity of wealth.
The time lag for obesity is shorter which is why obesity is working
its way up into higher and higher income groups in the U. S.
As their freedom evaporates they start to eat when they aren't hungry.
Ken Burns unwittingly revealed his ignorance of democratic freedom as
well as mid 19th Century America when he presented U. S. Grant's
several fortunes as an interesting aspect of the man in his Civil War
According to DeTocqueville making and losing several fortunes in your
life time was par for the course for a democratic society.
Burns was completely ignorant of this fact yet DeTocqueville made a
big deal of it back in 1833 contrasting life in a democracy to life in
an aristocracy where not just an individual, but generations in one
family were always rich or always poor.
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