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Elites Want More Competition for Everyone Except Themselves

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#1 AnBr

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 10:11 AM



The spectacular economic rise of the top 1 percent is now common knowledge, thanks in large part to the work of Thomas Piketty and his collaborators. The top 1 percent of U.S. residents now earn 21 percent of total national income, up from 10 percent in 1979.

Curbing this inequality requires a clear understanding of its causes. Three of the standard explanations—capital shares, skills, and technology—are myths. The real cause of elite inequality is the lack of open access and market competition in elite investment and labor markets. To bring the elite down to size, we need to make them compete.

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#2 LFC

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 01:02 PM


So, what’s going on here? The simple explanation is that wages and salaries are an inadequate measure of the share of economic benefits flowing to labor. Wages and salaries have declined as a share of total income, largely for two reasons. First, total national income includes government transfer payments, which are rising because of an aging population (e.g., Social Security and Medicare). Second, companies have greatly increased non-salary compensation (e.g., healthcare and retirement benefits). Total worker compensation plus transfer payments have actually slightly increased as a share of total national income, from 79 percent between 1951 and 1979, to 81 percent for the years from 1980 to 2015:

Healthcare benefits are increasing but so are healthcare expenses. Workers are paying well beyond inflation and companies are NOT picking up the whole tab.

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Out of pocket costs have been climbing too.

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So it's an increase in "compensation" that doesn't bring the employees a positive change in their fiscal lives.
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#3 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 03:54 PM

View PostLFC, on 02 January 2019 - 01:02 PM, said:

First, total national income includes government transfer payments, which are rising because of an aging population (e.g., Social Security and Medicare).

That's why it's so important to get rid of transfer payments (obviously leaving those to Job Creators untouched.)
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#4 J-CA

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:00 AM

I think occupational licensing is probably overly restrictive in many jurisdictions but I am pretty sure that turning the 99% against the bottom .8% of the top 1% is a bit of missing the forest for the trees.


And even the 1 percent is too broad a category; the really big gains have gone to an even tinier elite. For example, recent estimates indicate not only that the wealth of the top percent has surged relative to everyone else — rising from 25 percent of total wealth in 1973 to 40 percent now — but that the great bulk of that rise has taken place among the top 0.1 percent, the richest one-thousandth of Americans.

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