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Author Topic: socioeconomic class in the US  (Read 3662 times)
ccp
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« on: September 19, 2011, 05:25:27 PM »

Nothing fancy about the post below right off Drudge.  It does speak to a topic I have mentioned and I think JDN also has expressed concern.  I am hardly a fan of Bernie Sanders of Vermont yet it is an astounding stat when he says the top 400 wealthiest people in the US (I assume he got his information from Forbes) have as much wealth as the bottom 150 *million*.
Redistribution is a solution I abhor.  Yet there has to be some other way of improving the playing field. Closing loopholes only wealthy people can enjoy. The ability to pay for a legal system that few can enjoy without limit.
The power and influence that money buys.  No Repub to my knowledge ever adresses this other than trickle down talk, or "everyone has the same chance to succeed". No system is perfectly fair.  And in all systems, communist, dictator, monarchy, democratic all have those at the top with advantage.  Our system does offer some hope those without the advantage can get ahead yet the top 400 have the wealth of the bottom 150 million?  How can anyone not think this is insane?

****September 17, 2011, 4:26 pm
Wall Street Protest Begins, With Demonstrators Blocked
By COLIN MOYNIHAN

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Protestors gathered in Lower Manhattan for what some called the United States Day of Rage.
For months the protesters had planned to descend on Wall Street on a Saturday and occupy parts of it as an expression of anger over a financial system that they say favors the rich and powerful at the expense of ordinary citizens.

As it turned out, the demonstrators found much of their target off limits on Saturday as the city shut down sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall well before their arrival.

By 10 a.m., metal barricades manned by police officers ringed the blocks of Wall Street between Broadway and William Street to the east. (In a statement, Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman said, “A protest area was established on Broad Street at Exchange Street, next to the stock exchange, but protesters elected not to use it.”)

Organizers, promoters and supporters called the day, which had been widely discussed on Twitter and other social media sites, simply September 17. Some referred to it as the United States Day of Rage, an apparent reference to a series of disruptive protests against the Vietnam War held in Chicago in 1969.

The idea, according to some organizers, was to camp out for weeks or even months to replicate the kind, if not the scale, of protests that erupted earlier this year in places as varied as Egypt, Spain and Israel.

Bill Steyert, 68, who lives in Forest Hills, Queens, stood near the barricades at Wall Street and Broadway and shouted, “Shut down Wall Street, 12 noon, you’re all invited,” as tourists gazed quizzically at him.
Talking to a reporter, he elaborated, “You need a scorecard to keep track of all the things that corporations have done that are bad for this country.”

Nearby, Micah Chamberlain, 23, a line cook from Columbus, Ohio, held up a sign reading “End the Oligarchy” and said he had hitchhiked to New York. “There are millions of people in this county without jobs,” he said. “And 1 percent of the people have 99 percent of the money.”

Throughout the afternoon hundreds of demonstrators gathered in parks and plazas in Lower Manhattan. They held teach-ins, engaged in discussion and debate and waved signs with messages like “Democracy Not Corporatization” or “Revoke Corporate Personhood.”

Organizers said the rally was meant to be diverse, and not all of the participants were on the left. Followers of the fringe political candidate Lyndon LaRouche formed a choir near Bowling Green and sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Nearby, anarchists carried sleeping bags and tents.

At one point in the early afternoon, dozens of protesters marched around the famous bronze bull on lower Broadway. Among them was Dave Woessner, 31, a student at Harvard Divinity School.

“When you idealize financial markets as salvific you embrace the idea that profit is all that matters,” he said.

A few minutes later about 15 people briefly sat down on a sidewalk on Broadway, leaning against a metal barricade that blocked access to Wall Street. For a moment things grew tense as officers converged and a police chief shoved a newspaper photographer from behind.

After a police lieutenant used a megaphone to tell those sitting on the sidewalk that they were subject to arrest the protesters got up and marched south.

Mr. Browne said no permits had been sought for the demonstration but plans for it “were well known publicly.”

Mr. Browne said two people in bandanna masks were taken into custody for trying to enter a building at Broadway and Liberty Street that houses Bank of America offices. A third person fled.

As a chilly darkness descended, a few hundred people realized one of the day’s objectives by setting foot onto Wall Street after a quick march through winding streets, trailed by police scooters.

At William Street, they were blocked from proceeding toward the stock exchange, and the march ended in front of a Greek Revival building housing Cipriani Wall Street. Patrons on a second-floor balcony peered down.

As some of the patrons laughed and raised drinks, the protesters responded by pointing at them and chanting “pay your share.”***

 
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G M
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 05:37:18 PM »

How many heirs to this wealth piss it away?

My point being, it's not a zero sum game. If you get four slices of pizza, it doesn't mean I have to eat the box. Wealth rises and falls and thankfully, America still has the opportunity for a poor child to rise to wealth and the wealthy don't always stay that way, although our Crony-capitalist in chief likes to pick winner using old-school Chicago graft method rather than a letting a free market decide who gets rich.

Rich people create jobs and opportunity for the non-rich.
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ccp
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 05:38:55 PM »

GM,

You make my point.

That is why the Repubs will always have a fight on their hands.
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 05:52:05 PM »

What does it matter how much money the rich have?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 06:17:42 PM »

The datum CCP sites IS disconcerting, but IMO the problem is liberal fascism/progressivism and the reality of "public-private partnerships", Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs and the Treasury, etc, the complexity of a laws, regulations, and a legal system that effectively crowd out normal people and so forth.
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JDN
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 10:15:39 PM »

What does it matter how much money the rich have?

Having traveled quite a bit in Latin America and Asia for that matter, if the rich own too much, it simply is not good for the general population.
I happen to support CCP's contention; take care of the middle class.....

I read the following in today's paper.



Why (and how) to tax the super-rich

Extreme wealth concentration threatens democracy, and the U.S. is reaching that point.

By Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott

September 20, 2011

President Obama is right to insist on the "Buffett rule": Millionaires should not be paying income tax at a rate lower than their secretaries'. But correcting this inequity is only a small step toward fairness.

The more serious inequality problem facing the United States involves overall wealth, not just income. While the top 1% of Americans earned 21% of the nation's income, they owned a staggering 35% of the wealth in 2006-07, the most recent year for which statistics are available. We should be taxing that wealth directly, and not merely focusing on million-dollar incomes.

We propose a 2% annual wealth tax on households owning more than $7.2 million in net assets. Such a tax would target the 0.5% of Americans at the top of the pyramid, and would yield at least $70 billion a year. This calculation is based on Federal Reserve data that we have updated to take into account the recession's impact on housing and stock prices to 2009. Because we have used very conservative assumptions, the revenue yield could well be higher.

Obama's operational proposal for a "Buffett tax" is vague, so it's hard to predict how much it would raise. But our initiative would generate at least half the $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction that Congress' super-committee is aiming to achieve over the next decade. And the burden would fall on the Americans who have suffered least from the economic downturn.

There is more at stake than fairness. Our proposal would address a deeper issue. There comes a point at which extreme wealth concentration threatens the very existence of democracy, and we are reaching that point.

This is one of the tragic lessons of Latin American history, where democracy has repeatedly bumped up against tight economic oligarchies that feel threatened by majority rule. Though reliable statistics on wealth equality aren't available, we do know that income inequality in the U.S. today far exceeds that in Europe, and it is getting into the Latin American range. Because wealth is generally more concentrated than income, we are clearly in the danger zone.

Remarkably enough, the CIA has investigated the matter, and its website contains some sobering estimates. It reports that income is already more concentrated in the U.S. than in Venezuela, though we still have a way to go to reach the dizzying heights of Brazil and Chile.

A wealth tax is the best way to reduce this classical danger to democracy, and it provides the primary motivation for our proposal — though we also believe that it's more than fair for the super-rich to be paying more as we confront our long-term fiscal problems.

Wealth taxation is no novelty. In 2008, France, Norway, Switzerland and five other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development imposed the tax, and Italy is considering following suit. Spain, which dropped such a tax several years ago, now plans to reinstate it as part of a deficit-reduction effort.

In the United States, anti-tax zealots will try to use the Constitution to cut off debate about a wealth tax before it begins. Article 1, Section 8 grants Congress plenary power to impose any and all "taxes, duties, imposts and excises," but it contains a special limitation on "capitation and other direct taxes." Under this little-known proviso, such taxes may be imposed only if they are apportioned among the states according to their population. This provision was part of a compromise with the slave-holding South, and its intention was to prevent the North from imposing a "head tax" on slaves because this could not be apportioned equally among the population of all the states.

Given its origins, this provision has consistently been construed very narrowly by the Supreme Court, which has found only head taxes and real estate levies to be within its scope. There has been only one exception. In 1895, the court used the clause to declare the income tax unconstitutional, but this judgment was reversed by the 16th Amendment. Given this history, it is extremely unlikely that the justices will cite the founders' original compromise with slavery to bar a tax that would serve the cause of economic equality and democratic legitimacy. The Roberts court may be conservative, but it is not quite as reactionary as all that.

There is nothing that prevents us, then, from thinking outside the box, and doing something more than tinker with the status quo. Rather than draconian cuts to Medicaid or Medicare, why not a wealth tax?

Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott are professors of law at Yale and the authors of "The Stakeholder Society."

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
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G M
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 10:36:28 PM »

"Having traveled quite a bit in Latin America and Asia for that matter, if the rich own too much, it simply is not good for the general population."

Your initial premise is flawed. Hong Kong as an example has the most Rolls Royces per capita in the world (At least this was true when I read about this years ago). Obviously, most Hong Kongers don't even own a car (with the dense population and expense, owning any car is more trouble than it's worth on a practical basis). HK developed this wealth and a middle class as well without a gov't policy to "create" a middle class.

The lesson which is omnipresent these days is that gov't intervention in the market creates market distortions that eventually explode, harming the people they were trying to (allegedly) help. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac ring any bells?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 12:06:46 AM »

A decidedly specious piece.  My major in college was International Relations with Latin America being my region of specialization so compared to the average citizen I flatter myself to think myself more familiar than most with the issues of concentration of wealth in LA and the consequences thereof.   Frankly I have too little respect for this piece to bother writing the full essay it would take to lay such a vapid comparison to rest, but I will take a moment to note the extreme concentrations of land ownership (including the land held in the "dead hands" of the church) a nearly illiterate population, geographic fragmentation, and much more.

I repeat, the concentration of wealth in the US is due to the interventions of government.  Hard to think of something stupider than getting the government more involved or the attendant avoidance shenanigans of tax avoidance.

"Remarkably enough, the CIA has investigated the matter, and its website contains some sobering estimates. It reports that income is already more concentrated in the U.S. than in Venezuela, though we still have a way to go to reach the dizzying heights of Brazil and Chile."

Since when did the CIA have any credibility in economic matters?  cheesy  Since when does Hugo Chavez's Venezuela become a relevant bench mark for the USA?  cheesy

"Wealth taxation is no novelty. In 2008, France, Norway, Switzerland and five other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development imposed the tax, and Italy is considering following suit. Spain, which dropped such a tax several years ago, now plans to reinstate it as part of a deficit-reduction effort."

Ummm , , , with the exception of Switzerland, isn't Europe pretty much going bankrupt?  Certainly Spain and Italy are, and French banks are in danger in going the way of Lehman Bros.  I'd want some independent confirmation that the Swiss are doing this; it is quite inconsistent with their usual way of doing things.

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JDN
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 12:20:08 AM »

While I concede that you have a much greater knowledge of Latin America than myself or even most, I think even you would agree that wealth in Latin America is owned by a few families, a few oligopolies.
It is hardly distributed fairly nor is there much chance for the poor to rise to the top other than in the drug business.

The same can be said of many Asian countries.

Income inequality is becoming a very real issue here in America too.   

http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266026

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 05:39:14 AM »

JDN:

Speaking far too quickly, hence a bit glibly, if I may, what I think your are missing is that the concentrations of wealth are NOT due to the free market, but the quasi-feudal social structures inherited from the Spanish colonial error, the roughly fifty years of quasi-anarchy that followed independence, which were then followed by rule by various forms of corporatist fascism such as  the Perons of Argentina, the PRI of Mexico, and now Chavez of Venezuela.  Do you really think it a good idea to have politiocal economic structures like Chavez taxing wealth?

I suspect the principal to be universal-- certainly here in the US taxing wealth will do nothing for the growth and productivity of the US economy, nor to restrain our enslavement by the tsunami of government spending which is crowding out and suffocating the private sector.
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G M
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 07:03:42 AM »

You can create a society where you have equality of opportunity or equality of outcome. Pick one.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 09:14:16 AM »

"if the rich own too much, it simply is not good for the general population"

That is the myth and perception held by the people that governments use to expand their own power and destroy your wealth and opportunity. 

Crafty correctly attacked the term 'crony capitalism' recently. Correct because capitalism requires freedom and free movements of capital on a level playing field.  Can we call it 'Governmental Cronyism'.  Picking winners and losers with governmental power, central planning and control and using state power to build up and take down enterprises is not anything to do with economic freedom or capitalism.  It is third world economics, and yes you will find it running rampant in the third world.

Show me a monopoly and I will show you that it was set up and maintained by government power.  The phone company, the electric company, the post office.  Oligopolies, same thing.  A very few oil companies, big defense contractors, auto companies, highly regulated and maintained by the government with huge barriers to innovation or new entrants.

Freedom has a different dynamic called creative destruction.  As you get more and more successful and richer and richer, you get more snobbish and averse to new ideas that could either threaten your own market share and cash flows or would simply not yield enough return for you to bother with.  And then in comes the new player with disruptive innovation which is often simpler and lower in cost. The real new innovations must come from outside the dominant enterprise.  There are a million examples.  Hayes modems (anyone remember them) did not invent wireless data.  Microsoft wrote some wireless operating systems but not any that truly innovated and changed the way people do things.  Microsoft, the most feared monopoly of our time, even started naming their product after the year instead of the new capability.   Pushing oil companies to dominate wind and solar is fruitless and stupid.  Even if they were successful, why would we want it to be the same players that dominated the last century to dominate going forward?  Instead unleash freedom and let the chips fall.

We have educational freedom (to some extent) and therefore we have educational disparity.  If someone else goes on to achieve multiple PhD's and I am a tradesman, how does someone else moving forward hurt me? It doesn't, unless we find out that favors and unequal protections from government were bought and paid for with that success.

When we have advances in economic freedom, disparity increases because people  make unequal use of their newly found freedom.  That has NOTHING to do with kleptocracies and third world cronyism that has crept into our system.  Growing and protecting the disparity with unequal treatment under the law is wrong and forbidden by our widely ignored constitution and should be stopped, but fighting off wealth creation in the name of alleviating disparity just hurts everyone.

Never explained is how I am worse off for living among rich and successful people and all the opportunities that presents.  I am not worse off for it.  Nor how people born today in places like Haiti or Republic of the Congo that lack rich and successful people will be better off than us.  They aren't.
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ccp
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 10:48:16 AM »

"I repeat, the concentration of wealth in the US is due to the interventions of government."

Well I don't think it is so black and white.

We might very well pay far more in electricity, communications, water and so forth.  Bell's were broken up by government.

The cost of political campaigns is without a doubt a big factor in the corruption of our politicians.   Yet the same people here who argue for keeping government out of the business sector will also call for unlimited political donations as "freedom of speech".

I hear the arguments given on the board. 
I don't know if this is convincing to the middle class which seems to be a voting "group" the Dems are targeting.
We will see.  It seems like the class warfare thing is more than anything else what drives the voting pendulum back and forth between crat and can.

Curiously Newt made a point of ending *Republican* government medling/picking winners and losers and everyone on the right got all huffy at Newt.  He was/is also right.  No one is listening.  Neither side has the answer that is convincing many people who are not already part of the choir, I think.

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G M
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 10:56:09 AM »

Don't confuse the repub power structure with the republican voters, they often have different beliefs and different agendas.
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G M
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2011, 11:10:49 AM »

The cost of political campaigns is without a doubt a big factor in the corruption of our politicians.   Yet the same people here who argue for keeping government out of the business sector will also call for unlimited political donations as "freedom of speech".

Why can't I use any amount of money I wish to give to support any cause I wish to support and advocate for in a free society?
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ccp
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2011, 11:44:43 AM »

"Why can't I use any amount of money I wish to give to support any cause I wish to support and advocate for in a free society?"

Well that is one side.  The flip side is that those who give more money have more access and more influence right or wrongly.

No doubt the courts have opinions on this.  Obviously there are volumes and libraries filled with stuff about this.

The problem is that money corrupts and makes society less free and with less equality.  But I do not have any good answer.  It just is that way.  Always has been and always will be.  I still believe our society is still the best in attempting to make things equal - at least in theory.  Reality is a different story.  Perfection does not exist.


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DougMacG
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2011, 12:09:45 PM »

"Why can't I use any amount of money I wish to give to support any cause I wish to support and advocate for in a free society?"

Well that is one side.  The flip side is that those who give more money have more access and more influence right or wrongly.

Only because the (non-rich) majority has built and tolerates a system of spoils and preferences centered on unequal treatment under the law.

"I do not have any good answer."

I do (IMHO):  Tax every dollar of income the same no matter who earned it and how.  Slash government spending  from 65% transfer payments, robbing Peter to pay Paul back to just defending our country and governing.  If that is what the majority wanted from government, the rich would have no disproportionate advantage.  'Crazy talk.'  smiley


Don't confuse the repub power structure with the republican voters, they often have different beliefs and different agendas.

Yes, what I call elected Republicans versus conservatives.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Community Reinvestment Act, No child left behind, prescription drug benefits for some, targeted tax breaks and targeted subsidies for the few, trillion dollar deficits, hundreds of trillions in unfunded liabilities, these and thousands of other examples exist with the support and funding authorized by elected Republicans in their eternal quest to be reelected, but they are not conservative, libertarian or even constitutional IMHO.
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G M
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2011, 12:32:07 PM »

"Why can't I use any amount of money I wish to give to support any cause I wish to support and advocate for in a free society?"

Well that is one side.  The flip side is that those who give more money have more access and more influence right or wrongly.

No doubt the courts have opinions on this.  Obviously there are volumes and libraries filled with stuff about this.

Ever wonder why the left hates the "money as speech" concept? Because they control the MSM and  as such, thus wish to silence alternate voices that are funded by freely given money.
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ccp
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2011, 03:37:26 PM »

"Ever wonder why the left hates the "money as speech" concept? Because they control the MSM and  as such, thus wish to silence alternate voices that are funded by freely given money."

Maybe.  I thought it was because (in theory) the wealthy will have unfair advantage with lobbyists, access, influence.

Like Michael Savage states, look at the power of Jeff Immelt.  Look at the power of Buffett.  One gives advice on government policy all the while CEO of a multinational corp. making millions off the same policies.  Reminiscent of revolving door of Fed people and Goldman Sachs jobs.

Buffett goes and talks to the Prez and makes $300 million dollars on BofA in roughly a day. 
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G M
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2011, 05:18:26 PM »

ccp,

All perfect examples of "crony capitalism", as opposed to a merit-based capitalism.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2011, 05:20:32 PM »

Or what some of us call economic fascism, liberal fascism, corporate fascism, etc.
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G M
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2011, 11:07:33 PM »

**Must be those policies that mandate a middle class, or not....


http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.a8a1185f4a08d2928999ea8643dc5bd9.7d1&show_article=1

Hong Kong unemployment falls to 13-year low
Sep 20 02:56 PM US/Eastern


Hong Kong said Tuesday its unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest in more than 13 years thanks largely to a strong local economy, but analysts warned the figure could rise again.
The unemployment rate for the June-August period fell to 3.2 percent, from 3.4 percent in the May-July, which marked Hong Kong's lowest jobless rate since February 1998, the Census and Statistics Department said.

The figure was below the average 3.5 percent unemployment rate forecast in a poll of seven economists by Dow Jones Newswires.

The total number of people in jobs in the June-August period rose by around 10,800, to 3,636,600 people -- a record high for the Chinese city of seven million people.
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G M
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2011, 11:57:23 PM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14928091

Asia's growing middle class fuels theme park boom
By Katie Hunt
 
Business reporter, BBC News, Hong Kong
 
Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty and Lego bricks will all find new homes in Asia over the next few years as the disposable incomes of the region's newly affluent fuel a boom in theme park construction.

Disney has broken ground on a $3.6bn (£2.3bn) outpost in Shanghai; Legoland plans to open a park in Johor, Malaysia, next year; and Sanrio will open a theme park dedicated to the cute white cat with no mouth in eastern China in 2014.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's two theme parks are in the throes of a $1bn expansion to keep up with the competition.

And that's just the big names. A rash of smaller, quirkier theme parks have sprouted up, including ones in China dedicated to the smartphone app Angry Birds and the online game World of Warcraft.

"Asia's large populations are now moving up into the bottom rungs of the middle classes," says Chris Yoshii, global director for economics at Aecom, a consultancy that specialises in the industry.

"There's been a tremendous increase in discretionary spending on things like travel, which theme parks are part of," he says.

The industry expansion comes at the right time for theme park builders and investors as attendance is dwindling in Europe and the US.

Theme park visits last year were up 1.9% according to figures from Aecom, but in Asia that figure was 7.3%.

And according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the region's market will be worth nearly $8.5bn by 2012, up from $6.4bn in 2007.
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ccp
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2011, 01:07:29 PM »

Crafty wrote:

"but IMO the problem is liberal fascism/progressivism and the reality of "public-private partnerships", Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs and the Treasury, etc, the complexity of a laws, regulations, and a legal system that effectively crowd out normal people and so forth."

Except for JDN the opinion is a true free market is inherently better at resolving class issues.  Perhaps this is true.  I want to believe that but am not convinced.  Wouldn't most people beleive we need some rules, laws and regulation to keep the plying field level?  But who can enforce those rules, laws, etc if not government?  The only other option is the civil legal system but everyone knows that is not fair or equal access and application.

The question than returns to how much regulation, laws, oversight.  And the problem with that is that government is of course run by humans with the same weakness and self perpetuations as non government employees.

My general philosophy is that everyone rich or poor truly have equal playing field to the best degree possible.

That doens't mean those with means cannot use economies of scale, use thier expertise and honest obtained inside information to make wealth.

But someone or some entity has to "keep them honest".  The free market I believe is not sufficient.

With regard to picking winnners and losers:

There is a big uproar in NJ that the Jersey Shore reality show got a 400K plus tax deduction.  Many states are doing this.  Giving such big incentives to entertainment groups to come to their state and shoot movies etc.  The supposed benefit is an economic boon to local business.

This whole concept is exactly unfair.  Why should the entertainment business get a tax break?  Whatever tax break goes to them should go to *all businesses* not movie or TV or cable program makers.  I agree government has to get out of picking who wins who loses.  Stop the damn loopholes, the breaks, the "incentives".  Everyone pays the same low rates - period.

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G M
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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2011, 01:10:45 PM »

Except for JDN the opinion is a true free market is inherently better at resolving class issues.

Show me a culture/society where there is a greater degree of social mobility and opportunity.
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ccp
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« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2011, 01:43:32 PM »

"a true free market is inherently better at resolving class issues"

I guess my point is this is not truly a "free market".  On the other hand a truly free market would I think continue to see concentration of wealth to the top.   What is the solution that protects the virtue of both a "free market" and a "fair market"?

Many in this country rightly or wrongly believe the repubs are the party of the rich and the dems the party of the poor.

I don't.   But I don't hear any Repubs cadidate convincingly give an argument to reassure or calm the fears of those who have not done well that transfer of wealth is NOT the answer.

Well what is the answer?  Is there one?  I am not talking about the slackers and those who mooch of society of which there are many millions.  I am talking about those in the middle who are working harder and harder just to pay bills.

On Drudge an article points out that 80% of new jobs in Texas are taken by immigrants legal and illegal.  What the heck is this all about?   In NJ which has always been a big immigrant state I see massive numbers of people not born here working.  I just don't get it.



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2011, 02:38:18 PM »

As I understand the term "free market" it includes the enforcement of contract and the prevention of theft, fraud, and force and the idea that all costs to a transaction should be born by buyer and seller (i.e. pollution)  Properly understood, that covers quite a bit.
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G M
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2011, 07:23:53 PM »

Well, I'd clarify that a free market must be married to the rule of law for things to work properly. I'd point out that Hong Kong has prospered because of those two concepts and that Mainland Chinese companies often sign contracts between each other in Hong Kong just so the contract falls under HK courts rather than PRC courts. There is a reason for that.
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ccp
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« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2011, 09:36:19 AM »

Of course he uses his international reach to insider trade.  How else does he alsways make billions?
That said I put this under the socioeconomic class thread for a reason.  This is exactly what is unfair about our system.  He is so wealthy can hire armies of 1000 hr attorneys and fight this off and what is going to happen to him.  A bit embarrassed perhaps.
Anyone think he will go to jail?  A fine that for him is not more than a parking ticket for anyone else?

Santorum who is not getting any traction was talking about how the bankers got off without a scratch.

I guess one could use this story as the poster story for those people marching on wall street.  Notwithstanding most of them are a bunch of losers and party animals and otherwise in the words of Donald Trump looking for dates:

****October 6, 2011 9:34 pm

Soros fails to quash insider trading conviction
By Sam Jones in London and Stanley Pignal in Brussels
ReutersGeorge Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager, has lost a case at the European Court of Human Rights to have his criminal conviction for insider dealing quashed.

The failed appeal in a 4-3 decision by the Strasbourg-based court is the latest twist in a nine-year battle by the 81-year-old Mr Soros to clear his name following his conviction in France in 2002.

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The French criminal case hinged on trades that the Hungary-born investor had executed 14 years earlier in the stock of Société Générale that reaped his hedge fund, the Quantum Fund, $2.9m in profits.

Mr Soros was found by the court in 2002 to have had inside knowledge about the intentions of a group of super-wealthy French investors – the “golden granddads” – to bid for the bank.

Although the bid failed, Mr Soros’s fund profited by buying shares before – and selling after – the group’s intentions became public and resulted in a spike in SocGen’s share price.

Mr Soros was fined €2.2m (£1.9m), later reduced to €940,507 on appeal.

At the time, Mr Soros described the guilty verdict as a “gift to my enemies”.

He is now left with one final, unlikely, chance to rid himself of his conviction: an appeal to the grand chamber of the ECHR. Such appeals are only heard on an “exceptional basis”, according to the court’s rules.

Mr Soros had based his initial appeal to Strasbourg on an argument that French insider-trading laws in the late 1980s were too vague for him to know that he was in breach of them.

In its decision, the ECHR conceded that “the wording of the statutes was not always precise” but said that Mr Soros, as a “famous institutional investor, well-known to the business community  . . . could not have been unaware that his decision to invest . . .  entailed the risk that he might be committing the offence of insider trading”.

Mr Soros’s lawyers lamented the ECHR’s close decision, pointing out that even the former French market regulator, the Commission des Operations de Bourse, had found France’s insider trading laws too ill-defined to warrant a civil case.

“It is inconceivable to expect that the citizen has a better understanding of the law than the authority in charge,” Ron Soffer, Mr Soros’s lawyer, said on Thursday, referring to the billionaire’s criminal conviction by jury.

“The opinion of the regulatory authority is an irrebuttable presumption as to the lack of clarity of the law,” Mr Soffer said.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.****
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G M
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2011, 10:01:26 PM »

http://coalitionoftheswilling.net/?p=16633

The NewsHour Hits a MUST-SEE Homerun With This Interview

I’m sure whoever’s idea it was has been sacked. Along with all the llama trainers.
 
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G M
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2011, 08:49:34 AM »

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/10/26/peter_schiff_takes_on_occupy_wall_street_protesters.html

Awesome!
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G M
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« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2011, 12:15:01 PM »




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZr9c1zYaOE

Even more OWS morons getting schooled.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2011, 01:19:31 PM »

I salute his courage and integrity, but frankly I don't think he's doing that great a job.

When one is outnumbered, one has to stop hit the tendency of the larger numbers to overspeak you.  Begin by obtain respect for the fact that you are there outnumbered and establish that they will not overspeak and interrupt you because you are there to speak American to American.  Establish an agreement to stick to one thing at a time.  Continuously work in reference to points where there is agreement.

This are some things I learned while being a Libertarian candidate for US Congress.

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