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Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:51 am
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:31 am 
Can't say I've been a fan of his work, I find his humor a little abrasive, but I have to agree with him here (youtube video):

Russel Brand calls for revolution.

Glad to see that I'm not the only person that waves the revolutionary flag every so often. When comedians get this angry you know there's something wrong.


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Kobold
 
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:09 am
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:37 am 
Xaelvaen wrote:
I'm absolutely confused by this video; as a working-class American for more generations than I can fathom (Blue-Collar if you will), this seems like a fact I've been taught since I could speak. *shrug* While the people who make it possible for the country to function, at all, destroy their bodies physically 40+ hours a week make next to nothing on hourly wages, those who 'think' they know how to tell them to do it better make triple this value. That's where only the first fault lies.

Most Americans are whining so much about the bloody 'socialism' of the Healthcare Act, but as a blue-collar, its a God-send. If you ask me, the 3% tax hike on the top 20% (top 1%) wasn't enough.

So, um... where was that point again... right! This distribution just seems all too familiar. Lets not forget credit-rating; the ability to buy a house is determined on how much total money the banks have made off of you in interest over the course of your lifetime; paying off debt at no interest barely improves your score, in example. Honestly, the distribution isn't the fault of any one singular thing; its a culmination of 600 million+ people all having a different definition of freedom. Personally, mine doesn't include the trampling and destruction of the working-class for a 1.8 million dollar a year income just because I came up with a 'nifty' idea. I'm quite content to save for the next 20 years, buy a farm in a grassy county, jack the solar panels and wind farm, and just stay the hell away from society. Ahh, retirement with a collection of -actual- books, a rocking chair, and a screened front porch =)

You do have great plans of retirement..Even I am very content person and saving money for peaceful life..


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Giant
 
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:01 pm
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:00 am 
Xaelvaen wrote:
Lets not forget credit-rating; the ability to buy a house is determined on how much total money the banks have made off of you in interest over the course of your lifetime; paying off debt at no interest barely improves your score, in example.


Just noticed this. It's incorrect. I have a near-perfect credit score, and I've paid barely a nickel in interest. What matters is not that you've paid interest, but that you've shown you can handle credit responsibly. (And indeed, if you've ever been behind in your interest payments, even if you're paying an arm and a leg on them, this can only hurt your credit score.)


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Site Admin
 
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:20 pm
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:01 pm 
I've been gone for weeks (very busy with RL and just now getting back to RPTools) but I want to say "thank you"! Our community has always been able to have civil discussions about very emotional and sometimes controversial topics (tax structures, presidential candidates, freedom of the press issues, foreign policy, and more). I'm very glad to see we still have the same mature group of users that we've always had, and that they're not afraid to discuss sensitive topics in a reasoned, rational way.

Bravo!


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Demigod
 
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:53 am
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:59 am 
Jade wrote:
Xaelvaen wrote:
Lets not forget credit-rating; the ability to buy a house is determined on how much total money the banks have made off of you in interest over the course of your lifetime; paying off debt at no interest barely improves your score, in example.


Just noticed this. It's incorrect. I have a near-perfect credit score, and I've paid barely a nickel in interest. What matters is not that you've paid interest, but that you've shown you can handle credit responsibly. (And indeed, if you've ever been behind in your interest payments, even if you're paying an arm and a leg on them, this can only hurt your credit score.)


A person's credit score is a complicated and unnecessarily mysterious number. And personal experience seems to indicate that you both have some merit to your views but don't have the full picture.

I, too, have a near perfect credit score (in the 800's), largely and fairly quickly built from paying a few years of revolving personal business debt through a variety of accounts. These days (probably for nearly a decade) I don't carry any significant interest bearing debt. I simply don't believe in depreciating assets, paying interest, or financial fees so I go out of my way to be a low profit (and low risk) customer for financial institutions.

My GF also has a CR in the 800's, only buys big ticket items with cash (or 0% interest if a cash option provides no other benefit which it almost always does), carries no credit card debt that isn't paid in full each month, and only has long term debt from a mortgage (and she was actually without a mortgage for 7 years without seeing her CR impacted negatively... it actually continued to creep up just fine for those 7 years).

In both of our cases, the primary "dings" on our rating that keep us from the maximum 850 (according to our reports) is the fact that we have more accounts than we probably need and a lot of mysterious inquiries/checks on the rating (probably because we're mercenary with our bank accounts and credit cards and will jump ship as soon as we have better offers... a single fee, no matter how small, that threatens to appear on one of our accounts is a sure fire way to get us to close that account). And despite cancelling cards or closing bank accounts they do tend to "hang around" on your credit reports for a very long time (I suspect that they still regularly fire off "legal" inquires well after you close the accounts).

And, yet, I have a friend that makes 6 figures and never makes late payments, but really only has some fairly light credit card use and car loans on an 20 year credit history. And while his credit rating is good (mid 700's), not having ever had a home mortgage, personal business, or multiple credit cards seems to have limited his ability to build his score nearly as high and fast as we've been able to.

So, from my perspective, our high ratings haven't been just about making institutions money OR just about being good with the credit we've had. It's been about having a variety of sources (quantity), paying on time (quality), and being low risk for a couple decades (consistency). I also believe that having some healthy/reasonable reserves probably plays a role as well because I've seen a number of people who are quite financially responsible with their debt but are terrible with savings and seem to have a hard time breaking through into the upper CR echelons for no obvious reason other than living nearly pay check to pay check.

And, sure, I've read a lot of articles about how to increase one's rating and some of it jives with my personal experience and observations and some doesn't. And that's probably because at the end of the day saying that something "impacts you CR" is a far cry from fully understanding the exact degree to which each individual element impacts and interacts with other factors. Without real-time updates to one's CR and an itemized effect on the rating it will continue to be a system that serves institutions more than it does the consumers whose lives depend on it. The alchemy of the system is clear as mud for most people.

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Giant
 
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:01 pm
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:41 am 
Oh, yes, it's certainly more complicated than my one-line summary.

To be more accurate, it's simply a measure for how great a risk the lending agencies figure you are. The more history they have on you, the more they can gauge you (for better or for worse), while high active debt-loads and high credit ceilings inherently lower your score, and a long history of making regular payments on debt raises it. Additionally, as you mentioned, inquiries on your credit score can also lower it—my guess is that the reasoning goes that the more you are actively looking for credit (and thus applying for credit cards, loans, etc.), the less you're likely to have the income to support high levels of credit.


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Dragon
 
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:49 pm
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:43 am 
The context of comparison was removed when you boiled down my comment about credit rating and interest rates. I said it improves more slowly with no-interest payments, not that it doesn't move at all. This is all very new information for me provided by my lovely mortgage lenders and bank =) /sarcasm

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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:05 am 
Most people classed as being in poverty 'have job'. New World Order.


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Deity
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:24 am 
The clear solution is to lower the meaning of poverty, then there won't be so many people experiencing it.

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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:26 am 
We have the rich and the super rich, so we need new terms for the poor. We shall call it a re-branding challenge, it needs to sound more upbeat and positive so those suck...I mean hard workers won't realise they outnumber the 1% by 99%. They should be called upward potentialised, and upward potentialised+, for those that have even more potential to improve. :mrgreen:


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Giant
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:58 pm 
So, I've spent a significant portion of my adult life "in poverty" (according to the US government). I'm one of those folks who have been "in poverty" and had a job at the same time.

While in poverty I have:
*Built several high-end computers using new, retail parts (and always had a broadband connection).
*Owned a smartphone (purchased as new) with 4G data service.
*Purchased and driven a nearly new car with low mileage and plenty of lovely features.
*Had little trouble paying for rent for a private apartment (in a city where the cost of living is 1% off the national average) or buying groceries—with plenty of meat and fresh veggies (and I mostly cook Thai food, so there's a lot of international ingredients in the mix).
*Taken the occasional vacation—including some international ones.


Now, I'm no longer "in poverty" this year, but as someone who's spent years "in poverty", I really never felt like those (like me!) living near the poverty line were so terribly poor. I have a friend on food stamps who just bought his wife an iPhone 5S (and they're not on a budget carrier, either). Of course, that couple happens to feel terribly poor.


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:46 am 
Interesting book in this context:

"The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone", Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, 2009, Penguin


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Demigod
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:47 pm 
username wrote:
Interesting book in this context:

"The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone", Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, 2009, Penguin


Anything that infers such a thing is likely to be immediately discarded as socialist propaganda and spin by anyone who is either 1) above the mean or 2) believes that they most certainly will, eventually, be above it. And given that in most capitalist societies the carrot is, "You are upwardly mobile and can be ultra rich" there is a significant number of people that belong to Case 2 even though they are likely to never be a member of Case 1. That reality is the primary reason I rarely get involved in these sorts of discussions. People's belief in the notion that they can and will become a member of the upper or elite class at some point in their lives is based, largely, on the same sort of faith people have in their individual religions. That is, facts are less important than intrinsic belief.

"I believe therefore it is."

I'm sure that there are hundreds of well crafted books that clearly explain how "social equality" breeds diminished progress, stunted production & innovation, inefficiency, corruption, social stagnation, a sense of entitlement, and moral weakness. Probably have nice charts to prove all of the above as well. ;)

I don't mean to discard what might actually be a great book, I'm just pointing out that it (like most books of this nature) is probably just preaching to the choir.

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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:50 pm 
Full Bleed wrote:
username wrote:
I don't mean to discard what might actually be a great book, I'm just pointing out that it (like most books of this nature) is probably just preaching to the choir.

In my opinion, I find that true for most books because it's about selling books rather than affecting social change. The author may want social change too, but the editor/publisher is trying to sell books.

Every debating thread should have this posted at the top:

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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: US Politics - Wealth Distribution
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:51 am 
Related to the earlier discussion of Monopoly as a tool to demonstrate the evils of greed:

Researchers discover that money makes people nasty.


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