12 thoughts on “Thank God for Progress”

  1. //devil’s advocate

    The relative size of the gap seems to have gone from a factor of ~5x to 2x according to that graph.

    In modern technological states at least you have the possibility of systemically suppressing inequality. This wasn’t really realistic in Malthusian societies.

  2. The gap coincided with the start of colonization. As a result even the poorest were elevated to a higher income level. If you were to magnify the graph from the 1600s to the 1800s, the Pareto principle still applies. The only time the Pareto principle did not apply was during the first few decades post WW2 in the United States. It was a non-sustainable anomaly.

    1. I really do that think the existence of the Soviet Union was a good thing. The US had to show that it was also able to deliver the goods to its population and potentially quell any revolutionary aspirations for socialism.

      I was never a populist, and I always had a contempt for the US working class, particularly because they tend to embrace reactionary politics, such as the romantization of the Confederacy, producerism, a collective inability to question inculcated social and political values, disdain for the economically disenfranchised, obliviousness to the nature of political and economic power in the US, and anti-communism. Regarding the latter, the working class were essentially pawns for the US elite during the Vietnam War. What was unique about the war was the state compelled its citizens to risk their lives and health in order to fulfill an anti-communist political agenda (which was against their economic interests, not to mention against perilous to their health), as opposed to the all-volunteer force today that does not embroil the average person in war (and there was not even a tax increase to fund US military excursions such as the Iraq War). Now, my point is to question how would the average US citizen benefit from fighting communism, especially now from an ex post facto perspective. Well, the global economic is now safe for capital: private investors have increased access to economies friendly to capital without any significant fear of expropriation and nationalization, governments willing to implement austerity as opposed to screwing the IMF, and a compliant labor market.

      When I considered myself a liberal progressive, I was under the misimpression that anticommunism was not in “America’s self-interest” (it depends on what one defines as the “United States” or more specifically those who wield political and economic power), but I was not deluded when I realized that anticommunist foreign policy did not serve the interests of the middle and working classes of the United States.

  3. ❓ Slavery isn’t in existance now, but most in the world experience a form of slavery, as they are limited by money.

    1. We have more people than we have resources for, what do you expect?
      Plus in the Civilized World, wages are held down by dragging in violent nation-destroyers…who will work “cheap” but only for their bosses, everyone else pays the true price!

      1. Somewhat true, but then again, so many people won’t seek out training or an education. Many won’t try to seek such stuff out, preferring to stay in blue collar trades where now they’re threatened by Latinos. That’ s the real issue here, cause contrary to what WNs say, white people won’t pick vegetables, cotton etc.. They never have.

        1. Actually there is more opportunity for white working class people than thought, if only they’d seek out the education via a vocational school or the military etc.. I think it’s easier to “rise above” Latino competion, than what is thought.

          I’m wary of the redneck Facebook poster etc.., who whines 24/7 about how persecuted he is, yet I see no real effort on his part to get an education. Instead they spend countless hours complaining on social media. Well, at least we know the guy can write, 🙄 but why not use those skills to actually pursue a better job and job tranining?

        2. I know one such guy whom I know is smart. He knows a lot about computers and used to be an electrician, before an injury. Now he just drinks all the time. He could easily go to college with a free tuition, but he is so lazy, at least in regards to school, no self confidence with school stuff. So if he sits around and bashes Latinos etc.. as country guys like him usually do, then isn’t that cop out?

        3. Around here, White people work in the fields. It’s a bit problem, but not because they can’t do the work. It’s because the illegals act like they own the fields and they try to run out everyone who is not an illegal.

          Also around where I live, quite a few American citizens, pure Americans born in raised in the US, work out in the fields. A lot of them are young guys like 18-24 years old.

  4. You’re a reactionary.

    I don’t care about the meaning of the words. I personally would love to live in a country such as East Germany and have a strong economically modernized Soviet Union.

    In East Germany, people did not have to fear for their future, since there was no homelessness or unemployment. There was no economically competitive atmosphere.

  5. Except that the former is often an illusion whose existence is hypothetical at best. Poor Person X might have “equal access” to higher education thanks to subsidies but also has to help with hardships back at home which require constant attention, sometimes at the expense of class attendance or study time. The student from the well-off family can focus on their studies, while their less affluent counterparts may continue to work 30+ hours/week to support family members, some of which have needs they also have to continually attend to.

  6. But if you pull this data from just the US you should see a drop in wealth (or at least income) disparity that coincides with the new deal and gradually fizzles out of existence starting with de-unionization and a gradual return to lower top marginal and corporate tax rates,

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