idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
I don't know why anyone argues these points with gbaji. He's shown time and time again that in his world $ > people. IN. EVERY. CASE.
Nope. I disagree with people who believe that those two things are in opposition.
Naturally they aren't always in opposition. But when we are talking about rich people getting richer, we are NECESSARILY talking about the poor getting poorer.
Not really. If the "fat cat" CEO makes a million one year, and 2 million the next year, his earnings have increased by 100%. If the employee made 50k one year, and then 60k the next year, his earnings have increased by 20%. Sure, the CEO increased more, but they both had an increase in earnings.
Except that wealth doesn't increase linearly across classes. Never has and, under a capitalist system, it never will.
At any one time, there's a limit to the amount of capital in the system. Even though that amount increases every day (to simplify things to monetary values, only 95% of newly printed bills go to replacing old ones), it doesn't do so quickly or in massive quantities. Even over the course of the year, the actual increase in capital for the global economy is extremely small (and a decrease in capital is also possible).
Generally speaking, the majority of income gains for the rich are going to come directly from profit from services used by the people. If their income is growing (more than can be explained by a natural swell in capital), it's because they aren't increasing their market investments proportionally.
And it is definitely true that a person can have increased income from one year to the next. But it is equally true that they can be poorer from one year to the next despite increased income, since the value of the dollar decreases.
Most importantly, "poor" and "rich" are relational properties, not one-place properties. If I earn 100 dollars more today than I did yesterday, I do see a gain in wealth. However, if Mr. Rich gains $20,000 more today than he did yesterday, I became poorer, since the gap between us has widened.
"The poor get poorer" does not translates into "the poor have less money today than yesterday." It means that they control a smaller percentage of available capital today than they did yesterday, which is a very different thing.
To put it in perspective, in 1760 5% of the taxpayers held 40% of the wealth. Now, the top 1% of taxpayers (which is not referring specifically to the group OWS is attacking) now controls over 70% of assets. That's a BIG difference.
The poor are today are certainly "richer" than the poor of 1760, but not in an economically
meaningful way. They are richer in a historically meaningful one. Those two should not be conflated. We are certainly less destitute today, but that doesn't mean that we aren't poorer in relation to our rich (which is what we should care about).