Nov 15, 2011

If U.S. land were divided like U.S. wealth










  • Great visual, thanks!

  • Scary as this is, this is trend and seems to be progressing geometrically. What will it look like a year from now? 5 years?

  • It doesn’t make sense to use a pie graph to depict wealth. People create wealth through goods and services. An engineer or creative person creates something of value with his mind and education. The value of it depends on if anyone needs it and how much they’ll pay for the engineer for their creation. The engineer just made the wealth pie bigger. The engineer didn’t take away your wealth. You wanted the iPhone so you bought it and he made money. He may have even created a job or twowhile he was at it. The pie just got bigger because something of value, jobs, and some tax dollars generated were created where there was nothing.

    I want to be with you. I do. I agree with basic human rights for everyone; ie food, clean air and water, and education. (I’m still working out healthcare because if you eat crap everyday, I don’t really want to pay to fix you when your body breaks down, unless you’re a kid because then it’s not your fault, or something hereditary… Very complicated. Like I said, I’m still thinking it through.) And I agree that free markets don’t assign a true value to environmental “goods” until it’s way too late to matter. So I guess for the most part, I’m with you. Just not on a pie chart of wealth. Oh, and lobbyists. But that’s less about Econ and more about how our democracy is wired.

    • Yes, the pie can and should get bigger. I am not one of those who wants to simply shrink and reduce everything. (Although a bit of conservation and restraint is surely welcome.) I may be unlike some who I am friends with about that; hard to say.

      But you don’t seem to see that even with a larger and larger pie, the very top keep getting their same hugely disproportionate share—and the rate of their taking that whopping chunk is growing even faster than the pie. Capital is indeed required to start and maintain businesses, but to idealize these monstrous riches as angels of job-creation is sheer fantasy, even if a fraction of their wealth may do a certain amount of that, indeed allowing some “trickling down.” Even if that were totally and completely true about the role of the rich–an iffy proposition, but let’s accept it for the moment—they have broken the rules of that game by acquiring at a rate much faster than they are plowing it back into the economy for the “little people” (like me, and probably you) to have jobs—and a full life.

      See the problem?