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If you read the boom (I am half way through it) it is a fascinating book and an interesting perspective on inequality. He takes a different look analyzing economic history looking into tax records of Europe and the US going back to 1900. It is a typical academic book. Extensive research and conclusion is drawn and defended. Data is analyzed and interpreted. Always open to discussion and challenge. Financial Time's critique is valid, but not discrediting. And it doesn't mean everything else in the book is wrong either. It is a good academic book worthy of reading and discussion.
You are taking the term inequality to literally. Critics of inequality are not looking for an equal society. What inequality refers to is the gap between rich and poor. How big is that gap? What is acceptable? Inequality is OK if the system is fair with equal opportunities na dthe gap isn't too large. If the economy grows 5%, everyone grows 5% rather than the top 1% growing at 4% and the rest of us grow at 1%. What Piketty talks about in his book is that the return on capital is greater than economic growth. That people with investments get a greater return than people who work and get a paycheck. Since mostly rich people invest, the wealthy keep growing at a rate greater than economic growth. Then they pass their wealth to their heirs. Further concentrating wealth. I got a 2% raise 2 years ago and I haven't gotten a raise since. But my 401K made 12% last year.
"Republican Party must become a bigger coalition that welcomes diverse ideas to win national elections, Sen. Rand Paul said" So how does he propose to do that? we have to show concern for those who aren't doing very well: the long-term unemployed ... those who live in poverty, those who live in big cities," What are his ideas? Anybody know?
In response to:

Why Are The Poor, Poor?

stedes Wrote: Apr 19, 2014 9:46 AM
The idea that government programs (welfare) and tax rates make people poor is out dated thinking and outdated research. First only a small fraction of unemployed people who are poor receive government assistance. This argument does not consider the working poor who work two jobs at minimum wage and still need food stamps and Medicaid. It does not consider that when the economy hits a recession the numbers of poor people go up, therefore it implies it is economic. There is an interesting new book on this subject called One Nation Underprivileged - A well-researched book showing new data on poverty in America. This new research that dispels this idea of welfare dependency and shows that poverty is a part of the American experience. Over half of all Americans will experience poverty in their life time. The root cause of poverty is our economic system that produces unemployment, produces low wage jobs, does not seek workers or places businesses in economically depressed communities, less benefits, less hours, has discriminatory practices against minorities and older workers. Our economy is designed to produce winners and losers and large income inequality. Then when it produces losers, we blame users, not the system. We also have a cultural bias against the poor. Our cultural history of strong individualism, self-reliance and our belief in the American dream makes us view poor people as weak and outside the American experience. We blame the poor for being poor rather than a structural system. Therefore we are less generous with social services than other industrialized countries. We make being poor punitive, we set a lot of conditions to receive social services. There is also significant ignorance on the state of being poor. We really do not understand the daily stress and the difficulties and the lack of resources (education, health care, jobs, child care, transportation and social services) to help get out of poverty. Most of the poor want to work and trying to work. There are just too many structural barriers to get out of poverty. Blaming the poor and social services for being poor – or lack of work ethic (Paul Ryan) is just not true. It is convenient to fins a simple scapegoat and to alleviate yourself from any personal responsibility (to justify low and cut social services) to help these people. I recommend the book - One Nation Underprivileged by Robert Rank.
How are laws that ask a person to verify his identity at the ballot box, racist? Yes - It is. Why did all states with Republican legislatures at the same time implement voter ID laws before the 2012 election? It was a Republican strategy to deliberately discourage youth and minorities from voting. Don't take my word for it, Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) said voter ID law passed in his state “would allow Governor Romney to win Pennsylvania.” But it is more than voter ID laws. It is other laws such as restricting early voting and making students change residency to vote from college and limit Sunday voting. Do you really think Republicans did this out of the goodness of their heart with no political gain in mind? In Texas you can use your concealed carry permit as a voter ID but not a student permit. Why, students are more likely to vote Democrat while gun owners are more likely to vote Republican. Lastly the reason why blacks turned out more than whites in the last election is because most of these voter ID laws were not in effect. The were court orders suspending most of them. This is a crime against democracy and the Constitution waged by Republicans. Lets stop fooling ourselves and s eit for what it really is. Strategic Voter suppression.
" The hard truth is that you are worth precisely what an employer will pay for you, and nothing more". - Fact is white males on average get paid more than woman and minorities for the same work. Does the market value white men more than woman and minorities? Is he saying workers can never be exploited? That shipping jobs overseas, union busting and a depressed economy to drive down wages is just the market? Are workers (people) nothing more than commodities that lose their humanity that can be tossed out and aside as market dictates?
Thanks all for your replies below. So the next question I have, according to you folks, if one wants to discriminate for religious or moral purposes, they should. Discrimination is personal freedom. So are anti-discrimination laws unconstitutional? Was the civil rights bill unnecessary and tramples on individual freedom?
The question I have for Mr. Hawkins is, where do you draw the line? If you allow a business to deny services to gay couples for religious purposes, why not let Catholics deny services to divorced couples or couples who use contraception? or woman who had abortions. Then once you open this Pandora's box, are you going to favor religious belief over non-religious belief? Can an atheist choose not to serve people who won't serve gays out of moral conviction? Can a vegetarian waiter choose not to serve meat to customers or a pharmacist chooses not to dispense birth control? If you fire them are you violating their religious belief? If religious people win on the contraception and gay issue due to religious belief, you open the door for people to pick and choose what laws they want to follow based on religious conviction. A society cannot function this way. Social conservatives are going beyond the first amendment. It is not a license to seek carved exceptions in serving the public. We live in a secular society which allows for freedom of religion and non-religion by being neutral in public, but allows you to practice your religion in your personal life. The government cannot be a master of all religions and all beliefs know what is in everyone's head and tailor laws to accommodate everyone. You are free to make choices, but not to discriminate when serving the public. If your religious conviction is that you will not do gay weddings, then maybe it is time to get out of the wedding business.
In response to:

7 Reasons I'm A Conservative, Not A Liberal

stedes Wrote: Feb 23, 2014 11:03 AM
Government success - (1) The US military is the strongest and best in the world. (2) Civil rights was enacted at the federal level not the state level.(3) Medicare and yes social security. Not disasters. No recipient Republican or Democratic will give it up. They lifted millions of elderly out of poverty.
Is that how you handle someone who you disagree with - Shut Up? First we are not discussing Occupy . You are making assumptions on my views about them. We are talking about the subject of this post. Examples of Tea_party racism. I gave them, you throw out Occupy to change the subject and tell me to shut up. And you think liberals are intolerant Look in the mirror.
Yes I have. Sept 12, 2010 Washington DC. I was there on vacation. I have seen Obama with a bone through his nose, in white face and a Hitler Mustache. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/17/obama.witchdoctor.teaparty/index.html
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