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"The 1%" and what's wrong with that?

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    The problem is the 99% do not understand how much power they have over the 1%.
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    Yep I know, just the credits to a film so hardly academic. However I think the important graphic within it is the average salary ratio from CEO to the average employee. It rises from 8:1 in 1920 to 319:1 in 2010! Can anyone really say that that disparity in income is deserved or fair?
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    (Original post by najinaji)
    :dontknow: It seems even sillier when you consider that the comparative wealth gap is tiny in the West, as opposed to Westerner's wealth versus the wealth of those in Africa and parts of Asia.
    True, but globalisation's gradually dealing with that disparity -- what it's not dealing with (indeed, what it's exacerbating) is the rising inequality within nations. It's also worth stating that inequality isn't just about how much money the worse off have: economic inequality has all kinds of negative effects on physical & mental health, social ills (e.g. teen pregnancy, antisocial behaviour), education levels, social mobility, suicide rates, working hours, etc.

    See here:


    I absolutely agree that Western levels of consumption are unsustainable though (not to mention the amount of pollution we're emitting that's going to **** up things for people a few generations in the future).
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    I don't see a problem with there being a 1% in reality vast majority of those in that 1% earned their way there and deserve every bit to be where they are.

    Having said that the bottom 1% shouldn't expect more money if they have nothing of value to give in return for wealth.
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    I agree with pretty much everything in this post.

    (Original post by jeddows)
    This is just my opinion, but here goes.

    Part of the anger is that you can't just "work harder" to get into the 1%. The 99% are the people who work bloody well hard, day in day out, and for a basic wage, and with little or no prospects of climbing the career ladder. In other words, they're going to be stuck in the same convenience store, or fast food restaurant, or same delivery van for the rest of their foreseeable lives. And before you say this is due to qualifications, remember that this 99%/1% movement originated in America, where university fees are huge, even for state residents, and without the loan system that enables the majority of British students a chance at higher education.
    It's also considered unfair because the 1%, or more correctly the elite, caused the economic downturn that is impacting so heavily on ordinary citizens. Particularly in the US, thousands have had, or face having their homes repossessed and their lives turned upside down. Why? Because greedy, blind fools in the bank gave them loans they couldn't realistically pay back, and when the economic crisis hit (arguably caused by other reckless and greedy bankers and traders), the 99% started losing their jobs, and then their homes.

    And what punishment has there been for the rich? In the public perception, nothing. They still spend the average house price on a car so their child can sleep, or the average yearly wage on a handbag, they still host lavish parties, and most sickeningly they still get million pound bonuses, even though they screw up. Hell, I'd love to be in a job where I can still completely **** up and get a massive bonus!

    Yes, I'll admit, I am jealous of the lives of the 1%, simply because it would be great to just sit on my hundreds of millions and never have to worry about the car needing repairs, or the oven breaking, or a water pipe bursting, and be able to buy whatever I want without thinking about it. But personally, I'm more angry about the injustice and the sheer lack of accountability that has let these people ruin lives and skip off to the bank to cash their bonuses.


    By no means do I believe that a form of communism is the way, however the wealth gap v the skills gap is in no way correlated.

    I wouldn't say that the whole of the "99%" deserve to live as comfortably as the "1%", but I would say that perhaps 50% work equally as, or harder than the 1%. Without that shop assistant working 40 hours a week on minimum wage the big Chief Exec would earn nothing. Low level or middle management jobs can be ridiculously stressful, with the constant "perform or you're sacked" hanging over their heads, yet many (most?) go home with £20k a year, or less. Again, without said managers, Mr CEO who gets £1m+ a year would get nothing, yet does Mr CEO's comparative hours spent working justify *THAT* much more pay?

    Of course, more responsibility = more pay, but relatively speaking, that 1% is in that 1% most of the time due to pure luck, whether they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths or because they were at the right place at the right time.

    It is also human nature to want to better yourselves, and also a natural trait to covet something you don't have.

    I don't think the majority of the 99% are angry because they want what the 1% have, they simply get frustrated because once in a while it'd be nice to not have to worry how next month's mortgage installment would get paid when they put in equally as many hours into their equally as stressful/demanding/thankless jobs.
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    (Original post by Akkuz)
    I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

    Some people (in developed countries) aren't content with what they have. People should learn to be happy with what they have; after all money isn't everything. And if they aren't happy then they should study/work harder to get into the next bracket. My parents aren't well off but it hasn't prevented me from studying and making something of myself. Nor do I have any role models within my family who have helped me or driven me to work hard.

    However we need to make sure we help those people who are truly in need; those who don't have a roof over their head or struggle to eat on a day-to-day basis.
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-things...o-stop-saying/

    I would point out a selection of the points that are most pertinent to you, but actually I think you might have managed to cover all of them in that post.

    All things considered, I think it would also do a lot of people in this thread a lot of good to read this article.
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    Just that it's a catchy title to give and to enable more stereotyping.

    I'm sure those who live in absolute poverty think of themselves in the same class as the rest of us who live in relative comfort.
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    There should be no restrictions on the amount one can earn as long as it is earned legally within a market that provides equal opportunities.

    A lot of what people are saying about the top-50% being capable of doing the jobs that the top-1% does is just nonsense. If you owned a business and were looking to appoint a CEO, why would you pay Mr Top-1% millions when apparently there are great swathes of people willing and capable of doing it for £35k and a car allowance?

    How "hard" someone works is completely immeasurable. You might have somebody putting in 50 hours a week doing some physically difficult manual labour, and you might have a chief of design who with ten seconds worth of thought comes up with an idea that makes millions. Who is working the hardest? How do you measure that? And who exactly has the right to determine how much each party should get paid?

    Nobody has the right to enter a private business and tell the business owner how much he should be paying each of his staff. It is up to the business owner to decide how much value each employee brings and pay them accordingly. Clearly, simply supply and demand indicates that for a business owner to justify paying someone a huge salary, he must feel that they are providing as much value. Who is anyone to question his judgement?

    Oh, and as a final thought, if you think wealth redistribution will make low paid workers in the UK better off, try dividing world GDP by world population and see how much everybody ends up with.
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    (Original post by Bobifier)
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-things...o-stop-saying/

    I would point out a selection of the points that are most pertinent to you, but actually I think you might have managed to cover all of them in that post.

    All things considered, I think it would also do a lot of people in this thread a lot of good to read this article.
    And a quote from that article:

    Most high-income earners do put in a ton of hours. Bill Gates seemed to never sleep (an employee once said that putting in 81 hours in four days still couldn't keep up with Gates' schedule). So yes, it's unfair that we tend to think that "being rich" means "lounging by the pool while an albino tiger massages our feet with his tongue." So, "Hey, I work hard for what I have!" is perfectly true. It's also insulting.

    It implies a bizarre alternate reality where society rewards you purely based on how much effort you exert, rather than according to how well your specific talents fit in with the needs of the marketplace in the particular era and part of the world in which you were born. It implies that the great investment banker makes 10 times more than a great nurse only because the banker works 10 times as hard.

    He doesn't


    Point well made imo.

    And another:

    So, mister rich person who clearly is not reading this, when we say you're "lucky," we're not saying you're lucky in the way that a lottery winner is lucky. We're saying that you're lucky if you were born in a time and place where the hard work you're good at (say, stock speculation) is valued over the hard work that other people are good at (say, landscaping, or poetry).

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    tbh, I don't think there is anything wrong with that, as long as those at the bottom of society have enough to live.

    I think it is something to aspire to: to be part of the elite 1%, and if you've worked hard for that position, why should someone else say it's unfair just because they didn't earn that amount of wealth?
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    Why can some people not understand that we can't all be as rich as the 1%?

    It is just plain retarded to say 'work harder then'. Notwithstanding the fact that much wealth is inherited etc...
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    (Original post by ruperts)

    Oh, and as a final thought, if you think wealth redistribution will make low paid workers in the UK better off, try dividing world GDP by world population and see how much everybody ends up with.
    Bear in mind that the cost of things like food/water etc would probably also plummet, negating your implication that everyone would be too poor...
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    (Original post by Besakt)
    Although I agree with what you are saying. Those that took out loans that they knew they couldn't afford to are just as bad as those people that gave them out.
    Aye, that's a valid point I agree with (I've been brought up to believe if you can't afford it, don't buy it). But, while they are to blame, surely giving them such a tempting offer is just as bad? I don't know your circumstances, but if you were poor, with no 'real' way of getting a home, wouldn't you accept a 100% mortgage if it meant a home for your family? At the end of the day, it's the banks risking their money on loans, so shouldn't they be more careful?
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    (Original post by jeddows)
    Aye, that's a valid point I agree with (I've been brought up to believe if you can't afford it, don't buy it). But, while they are to blame, surely giving them such a tempting offer is just as bad? I don't know your circumstances, but if you were poor, with no 'real' way of getting a home, wouldn't you accept a 100% mortgage if it meant a home for your family? At the end of the day, it's the banks risking their money on loans, so shouldn't they be more careful?
    I guess so, I've also been bought up to live within my means.
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    If you can't beat them, then join them
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    (Original post by Like_A_G6)
    There are two ways of looking at this. The 1% generally pay more tax so are giving back to society.
    ...until they lobby for tax breaks, and get tax cuts, and set up tax havens overseas, and claim expenses on trivial items, and and and...

    There are so many ways to dodge paying taxes if you're rich it's not even funny.
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    (Original post by fuzznbass)
    If you can't beat them, then join them
    That is just such a cop out.

    Because everyone can be in the 1% if they work hard enough, right? :rolleyes:

    To quote the previously posted article again:

    I guess our entire philosophy about money kind of revolves around this premise -- that there is no poor or working class, but only people who have chosen to not buckle down to the task of getting rich (and thus deserve whatever salary, insecurity or poor work conditions they get). So there should be no talk about improving the lives of the non-rich, since any of them can simply choose to elevate themselves out of that group, right?

    Seriously, now. How much time do you really have to spend off your goddamned yacht to see that this isn't true? You don't even need to leave the dock -- there's a guy standing right there who you pay to fix your boat's engine. You know that 1) you absolutely need guys like him and 2) he will never get rich doing what he does. He could be great at his job, he might be the Michael Jordan of mechanics, he might work 100 hours a week -- it doesn't matter. Sure, if that one guy somehow also has the head for management and finance and the networking skills, he could maybe open his own chain of yacht repair shops. But they can't all do that
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Because the wealth should be spread among all people.
    Communism?
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    (Original post by Lulamae)
    Many f you may be aware of the documentary film "The One Percent" that talks about the widening gap of wealth in which 1% of the population earns high amounts of money (42% of all wealth) and rest remain 'mediocre.'

    I haven't seen the cocumentary, but I have a general question: Why do people hate this fact s much and consider it unfair? Shouldn't it just cause us to work harder and try to get into those 1 percent (should we want to)?

    I don't quite understand where all the anger is coming from.
    I think it's mostly because a lot of people feel they work at least as hard as those in the top 1%, yet know they won't ever get there.

    Probably also some ingrained socialism, as a child you're taught to share, don't take extra if it means someone else will go without etc.
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    (Original post by Shani)
    That is just such a cop out.

    Because everyone can be in the 1% if they work hard enough, right? :rolleyes:

    To quote the previously posted article again:
    So we should just tar them with the same brush despite the fact some of them came from humble backgrounds :rolleyes:

    Because it's impossible for ordinary people to become rich ?


    Think again, this is the ways things are, there has always been a 1% group in every system. I think this whole anti 1% is ridiculous. Granted inequality is rising but how is attacking rich people going to achieve anything ?

Updated: April 11, 2012
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