Are the poor being oppressed?

We've all heard about the 1%.  We've seen the figures how they earn more than the bottom 50% of the nation.  Graphs show how income disparity is greater than any time since the "robber barons" of the 1920s.  If you are social liberal you've also heard how tough it is to be poor in America and the dwindling middle class.  With internationalization wealth opportunities for the lower class are evaporating.

But are the poor oppressed?  

Marx based all of his social conflict theory on the idea that the rich get richer at the expense of the poor, leading to inevitable class warfare.  Is that happening ... if not, why not?

Is today's "income inequality" something different?  Poverty is relative;  is there a level of poverty that is completely livable but only "poverty" by comparison?  Are the poor not rebelling because we're at a higher level of poverty?  On the other end of the scale, is there a level of wealth where "more" simply becomes digits on a spreadsheet with no real added power or physical benefit to it?  Is having five private jets any better than having one?  Does having 3 billion in stock after you've already bought everything you could want really do anything?

Intelligent discussions meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday in the Community Room at Earth Fare, on Pelham Rd at I-85.  


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  • Bryan

    Akerloff explains how banks enrich themselves by bankruptcy, which is conveniently payed by thier governments. It was this article that won him the 2005 Nobel Prize.

    Akerloff is fun to read. Minimum of Jargon.

    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/projects/bpea/1993%202/1993b_bpea_akerlof_romer_hall_mankiw.pdf

    Succinct summary of how banks exploit taxpayers:
    . (see page 2)

    "Bankruptcy for profit occurs most commonly when a government
    guarantees a firm's debt obligations. The most obvious such guarantee
    is deposit insurance, but governments also implicitly or explicitly
    guarantee the policies of insurance companies, . . . virtually all the obligations of large banks, . . . and the general
    obligations of large or influential firms. These arrangements can
    create a web of companies that operate under soft budget
    constraints. . . .bankruptcy for profit can easily become a more
    attractive strategy for the owners than maximizing true economic
    values. "

    October 24, 2013

  • Patricia F.

    Hi
    Sorry, I am can't make it tonight.

    October 23, 2013

  • Bryan

    Forget the poor. By definition they are on welfare. It's the middle class getting the feces kicked out of it:


    Bleeding heart liberals are all over this problem:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2013/08/14/the-american-income-crisis-the-fed-could-stop-it/

    1 · October 22, 2013

    • Patricia F.

      I am a bleeding heart liberal. I'm "all over this problem" sounds like a Rush L. Statement.

      October 22, 2013

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