Elephant Chart

I came across this chart today. Maybe all of you have seen it, but I hadn’t.

elephant chart

It is called “the elephant chart” because the shape of the chart looks like an elephant.

It was created by Christoph Lakner and Bruno Milanovic for their book, Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization.

It charts the change in income by the absolute value of income on a global basis. So we see how someone in Africa living on a dollar a day compares to someone living in the developed world at $100 a day.

Bruno Milanovic discusses this chart in this blog post. It is short and well worth reading for some context.

For me, the story this chart tells is the movement of low cost labor from the developed world to the developing world over the past 25 years. This movement has allowed the “global middle class” to raise their incomes 60-80% while the middle class in the developed world has been stalled out.

But globalization doesn’t stop, nor does automation. And what one would expect over the next 25 years is the global “middle class” will similarly stall out and we will see increases at the far left (the 0-30% range).

The small group of people that are immune to this trend are those that make their money on capital, not labor. They are on the far right of this chart and they have done very well over the last 25 years and, if this story continues to play out as it has, should continue to do so.

There’s a question of whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. The least developed parts of the world are developing rapidly. And very few people are experiencing absolute declines in income.

But whether or not this is a good thing at the global level, this redistribution of income growth creates political issues locally and we are certainly seeing them play out this year. And I would expect these issues will become more pronounced in the coming years.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Twain Twain

    AI (including chatbots) and automation will take over more middle-class jobs.There are startups in the Valley aiming to make software developers and website designers obsolete too. Yes, AI can “augment” our intelligence and businesses but it can also eradicate entire classes of employment.These are social and moral considerations that all inventors, founders and investors of AI startups need to understand — even as we all work towards improving technology, making things better for people and “changing the world”.

  2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Whatever your spiritual or material positionIf those who have share, then there are less of those who have not.This applies as well to education, bread, love & poetry as it does to scarce commodities – and in fact is as valuable to society as it is to the recipient or the giverLet’s encourage people who act on this simple truth – or give it a tryFreds work on teaching tech is a fine example.

    1. Rob Underwood

      Well put.

    2. William Mougayar

      Agreed, but easier said that done, for most people, sadly.

  3. Tom Labus

    If only we were able to have a legit political discussion. I’ve tossed this book out before but I am still amazed by his argument about US growth.http://press.princeton.edu/…I’ve seen counter arguments that we are not reading productivity correct and that’s possible considering the major changes going on economically, worldwide.

  4. jason wright

    The 1% finally have a legitimate moniker.He’s a trunky. She’s a trunky. They’re trunkies.

  5. jason wright

    Milanovic – “…routine middle class jobs…”The end is nigh for these people.

  6. Eric Satz

    Time to reimagine what we are best at.

  7. Rob Underwood

    I have been spending some time this summer outside of NYC. While that’s good for my psyche, it’s made my usually somewhat dark and cynical view of the short to medium term prospects of US society (which is in large part a function of the economy) even darker.A lot of folks are really desperate and unhappy. Perhaps the “Newark teacher” our host cited earlier this week (and which led to “Knucklehead” now becoming the preferred retort on AVC), desperately trying to play and escape the system best she can is the best example. But the “regular folk” more broadly I have been talking to are not in a good head space right now.The mythology, if not the reality, for a couple decades at least, was that if you worked really hard, “played by the rules”, and generally engaged in the “promise of America” you’d do ok. You’d probably not get rich, but your family would have a small house, be able to take a vacation, and generally you’d have enough to get by month to month with enough in government and private resources to pay for your retirement. This is the “promise” that is the baseline I think many Americans use to evaluate their life.Perhaps because it was a myth all along, and our technology has simply made that more obvious, many have awoken from the dream. We celebrate the winners, but what of all those who didn’t “win”? Who on this blog doesn’t know someone who had “everything going for him/her”, perhaps a college or graduate degree, and was “doing everything right”, and then had a stretch of bad luck and is now deeply in debt, out of work, and worse.The high risk/high reward system – the few winners, many losers economic model in which we now exist – might be more tolerable to more Americans if there was some sense of fairness to it (and yes, I get it, life is not fair) akin to the “work hard, play by the rules, get ahead” basic guarantee that people perceived existing after WWII. But meritocracy is all but dead. In the US, who you know (and especially and where you went to school) has at least in the last 100 years, never been more important, especially in an era of rampant grade inflation that have rendered transcripts all but meaningless.Of course, there are entrepreneurs who follow the origin story of coming from nothing, learning to code, building a great product, getting funded, and going on to be huge successes. There are cases where seed and VC funding goes to truly the best idea being best executed by the best team. But we also know, if we’re honest, that even in VC and tech it’s about who you know at least as much as it is what you can do, and I’d argue that this has become more acute in the last 10-15 years (in part because the reduced friction of social media has made vetting, personal network curation, and gatekeeping more important, but I digress…) As those of us who marketing know, it’s not always the best product that wins.And most people aren’t entrepreneurs. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t encourage and promote entrepreneurship or an entrepreneurship mindset. It’s to say that if you’re 45 and have 2 kids with a mortgage to pay, you’re probably looking first and foremost for security and predictability. You want and need what in the post WWII economy was associated with a “good job.” And jobs are going away. It seems to have hit “blue collar” jobs the hardest first, but anyone who has worked in the corporate world knows that the vast majority of “white collar” jobs were rendered unnecessary long ago. Meetings feel pointless because they are. Powerpoints feel pointless because there. Projects feel pointless because they are. Large companies can let go 15,000 – 20,000 white collar jobs and the company won’t miss a beat because as important as those jobs were to those families, those jobs had long ago ceased to be adding any value at all to the company itself in terms of top line revenue or bottom line profitability (actually, just the opposite). It’s just taking activist stockholders and management more time to act on these jobs, I think because of some vague sense that these cuts hurt “some of their own.” But make no doubt – most white collars jobs are little more than a form of corporate welfare and could be cut at any time.Of course, to make it worse, when the inevitable cuts do come, it’s usually the super talented 50 year old developer who is keeping up the mission critical database on which the entire department runs who gets let go (probably because the consultant never took the time to meet with him and find out what he does). The incredible callousness, senselessness, and irrationality of who gets let go most see in RIFs just adds all more to a sense of helplessness, hopelessness, and that meritocracy is just an illusion. It’s a feeling that on any day, at any time, at any organization I can lose my job no matter how hard I work. It’s the high risk economy.This end of the promise, regardless of whether it actually ever in fact existed, is why Trump can still come from behind and win. As I’ve said before on this board, if you work in finance, tech, or media and live in NYC, San Fran, LA, or a handful of other hubs you may be insulated from just how bad it is (in fairness, you may not). People are really discontent, and it can’t be underestimated the power of that. He can win because many are without any hope. Ironic, no?

    1. creative group

      Rob U:The media is a for profit business. The close polls gathered by one thousand select people for polling (Which had every other Primary Republican winning but Trump) to make this election closer than reality is obnoxious to the intellect. (Whose intellect ? The commonsense people registered to vote who will offset the Xenophobia, Nationalistic and Racial view points by Republican voters that are currently Alt-Right fueled and Mercer funded {Not racism, every view against a minority view not liked isn’t racist} but culturally different, reread. The election will be made to feel close to secure the ad buys, commercials, etc. for the media. (Definitely not a conspiracy theory view) We acknowledge the Cuckoo for Coconut thinking, which everything is a conspiracy is based upon fear, lack of commonsense and not intelligence.#TERMLIMITS#UNEQUIVOCALLY&UNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT#TRUEINDEPENDENT

      1. pointsnfigures

        Okay, let’s talk about Soros etc and how many pollsters are forcing undecideds. There was a poll in VA with zero undecideds. The pollsters used the demographics of the person answering the poll and projected how they would vote-and because of their hypothesis, Clinton was up big.Clinton clearly has the lead right now. But, she is the worst candidate the Democrats have ever run. (and Trump is probably the worst the Republicans have run) If Joe Biden would have been able to get the nomination (since it was pre-decided who it would be) He’d be up 10-15 points easy.

        1. creative group

          pointsnfigures:We agree! There is no white hat funding Democrats or Republicans.We responded in kind to the poster. If you had the opposing view we would have highlighted similarly to your citing.#TERMLIMITS#UNEQUIVOCALLY&UNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT#TRUEINDEPENDENT

          1. pointsnfigures

            I am for term limits. I am for redistricting the entire country to get rid of gerrymandering. I am willing to compete on the field of ideas because I think free market ones will beat the socialistic ones.

          2. creative group

            pointsnfigures:It is no small secret we are Independent with a whole bunch of Empathy for those less fortunate. Our humble beginnings credited.We are of no illusion that a third party would solve this issues America continue to encounter in our political dysfunction. If we honestly view other so-called Democratic countries with three or more political parties the countries are far worse on a political setting than America. We really think America doesn’t need that disaster. Your thoughts!#TERMLIMITS(DEAD ON ARRIVAL WITH CURRENT POLITICIANS WANTING TO BE IN OFFICE FOR LIFE-JOHN MCCAIN, AZ)#UNEQUIVOCALLY&UNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT#TRUEINDEPENDENT

        2. creative group

          pointsnfigures:Can we also agree that every poll cite by Democrats or Republicans are not always based upon the question being asked. What unbiased polls can the majority of us can agree upon? Are there any?#TERMLIMITS#UNEQUIVOCALLY&UNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT#TRUEINDEPENDENT

          1. pointsnfigures

            the poll that comes out the day after the election is usually one we agree with

        3. PhilipSugar

          I agree with this comment 100%. I never comment on political.I do not say Trump will win. What I will say is there are many people that say they are not voting for Trump that will pull the handle in the booth against Hillary.There will be many more that abstain from the shit show of corrupt versus crazy.Being from DE I never thought Joe would make President. He would have walked away with it this year.Watching Hillary rail against the rich when looking at what she has amassed since coming to Washington DC makes me puke.Watching Trump say just plain stupid stuff and then double down on crazy makes me spew from the other end.It’s like the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had.And in case anybody reads into this you can switch the names and the orifice.

          1. LE

            The fact that Biden wasn’t even close to being all in to running should have made those trying to pull him in run in the other direction. Like we want someone in the office who isn’t 1000% driven and committed to doing the job.In theory, plenty of super qualified people out there only reason they don’t stand a chance is because of the media and public relations benefit that goes to name recognition.

          2. PhilipSugar

            You know that actually made him like me more (I never have really liked him)

          3. LE

            I never liked Biden but mainly because I don’t like his white man glad handling smiling look. Something about that just bothers me. Type of guy that says “fuck you” and smiles at the same time as if what he is saying is just so obvious and true and anyone who doesn’t buy in is an idiot. It’s like he is central casting politician. In other words, a tool. To me Obama is much more on the real scale (no fan but..). Or someone like Giluiani, Rizzo, Spitzer, Christy, and so on. (Realness wise I mean).I think also that he needed to be dragged back into politics when his first wife died or something like that I remember.Type of politician that you might visit and would tell you that he is going to “do everything he can to help” knowing that he can’t do anything and just trying to appease you in some way and get by the moment.Then there was this media myth apparently:http://gawker.com/joe-biden…I mean seriously someone dying concerned with shit like that is all things that hollywood writers come up with.And this, if true, shows what a politician and tool he really is actually:Of course, this doesn’t mean that Biden didn’t leak a story about what the dying Beau Biden wanted from his father to Dowd, just that whatever story was leaked—if one was leaked at all!—is not the one that happened.

        4. LE

          Clinton clearly has the lead right now. But, she is the worst candidate the Democrats have ever run.That is simply because they got distracted by the electibility of her as a result of name recognition and ignored the negatives. She was anointed in the same way that a random Kennedy can get on the ticket regardless of his experience or qualifications. Or really any offspring of a known politician. This is also a result of how the media operates and how the political crowd takes advantage of how the media operates.That just actually shows you how much Jeb Bush really sucked (in the eyes of the voters) if he was not able to do better than he did given the huge head start he had (I don’t think it was hate of brother that accounts for all of his loss by any means).

          1. pointsnfigures

            If Bush wasn’t so headstrong and opted not to run, the Republicans would have nominated someone other than Trump. There were so many clear also rans in the original 16 that were just there to sell books or get their name out there. Cut that originally field to 5 before the Iowa primary and Trump has zero chance.

          2. LE

            Agree 100%. And it’s amazing how many qualified people don’t run because they aren’t foolish enough to waste their time in a race that they can’t reasonably win. So what we get is a subset, the foolish ones and narcissists.

    2. pointsnfigures

      http://www.realclearpolitic… Read this piece today, and think it’s very salient. Over the past ten years, I have spent quite a bit of time driving through the heart of the country and talking to people. They are upset with the socialistic turn their government is taking. Urban dwellers are mostly insulated from it-and have high enough incomes that they can afford the higher taxes.

      1. William Mougayar

        Well, they’d be better off joining a party that advocates no government taxes. Someone did the math already, and the effects are staggering.”Okay, so there are somewhere around 116 million families in the United States (2007 figures). If each of those families had an extra $23,000 to spend in a year, it would work out to $2,668,000,000,000. That’s $2.68 trillion dollars; enough to buy more 85 million cars, 7,473 brand new 747 jumbo jets, 2,151 new cruise ships, or to build the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa 1,778 times. We could even pay off the national debt in a little over seven years or pay off the combined student debt in less than six months if we so chose.How many jobs would be created by all of those purchases? There’s no real way of telling. But it’s clear that the number of new jobs created by that much additional cash flowing through the economy would be significant. Granted, the government is putting that money through the economy right now, paying for a myriad of different products, services and entitlements. But no government spends money efficiently. They don’t have to; after all, it’s taxpayer money, not real money.”Source: http://www.offthegridnews.c

        1. pointsnfigures

          Low tax-probably not no tax. Mostly consumption taxes. If govt spends now, either you, your kids, or your kids kids will pay for it with their own income.

          1. William Mougayar

            I’m beginning to think a lot about systems with no or very little government tax. The Blockchain is helping us to model how these economies and markets could work.

          2. awaldstein

            I find this the most fascinating and the most aspirational and the most unclarified piece about blockchain.Example of how blockchain is helping us model and changed world pls?As I’ve said, if there was every strategic possibility that cries our for a social visionary, it is it. Lots of technical ones, but social and cultural not seeing it.

          3. William Mougayar

            Steem and Steemit are one leading example, where a mini economy is created, and wealth is shared & distributed among all participants without unnecessary taxation (transaction costs in this context). Its nuances are not all visible or well understood, but they will reveal themselves over time, if the model’s theory proves itself to be viable.

          4. awaldstein

            I’ll look

          5. jason wright

            it takes time.

          6. awaldstein

            Vision is where you start not where you end. My front door is your back one.

          7. jason wright

            on topic. Kickstarter could migrate to a blockchain network, issue Kcoins, and drive change.

          8. awaldstein

            Nothing to do with vision. You are conflating normal business flexibility with the core of what u are about.Not the same.

          9. Marc-Oliver

            The BLOCKCHAIN as a solid model for equal redistribution. I can see that. Enterprises and the 1% won’t.

        2. Matt Zagaja

          But then presumably once the interstate highway system falls apart where are you going to drive the new car? Hopefully none of the purchases you want involve getting them shipped via UPS. Though maybe this is why Amazon is working on those delivery drones.

          1. William Mougayar

            Well, we don’t need to assume this will create anarchy nor that the government doesn’t have a role. The bulk of their revenues could come from other parts. They will be forced to do the strict essentials, not more.

          2. Matt Zagaja

            Do we get to keep NASA?

          3. JLM

            .NASA putting a man on the moon was one of the biggest manifestations of American pride and achievement. In its current state, it is a lost opportunity.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Lawrence Brass

            I admire NASA, specially its involvement in collaboration projects as the International Space Station and their Mars initiative. Openess, collaboration is the way to go. If the USA ends up building a wall you will probably miss the next Wernher von Braun.

          5. JLM

            .Wernher was a freakin’ Nazi and an SS member. His choices were the US v execution v the Russians.The SOB designed the V series rockets which rained down on London and he made them with concentration camp labor.So, for me, Wernher can stay home.The next WVB is already here working on an H-1B visa and working for Boeing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Lawrence Brass

            Well right, perhaps Wernher was not the best example to make my point, but you can’t deny his influence at NASA. He had to make some compromises during the war to get the capital and resouces he needed to continue his research along with his team. I don’t believe or want to believe that he was a Nazi at heart, many German businesses were compromised by means of collaborating with the Nazis, what real choice did they had?H-1Bs? We are on Sunday truce already so I will restrain myself on this one.Tom Lehrer has something to say about this. ;)https://youtu.be/QEJ9HrZq7Ro

          7. JLM

            .It is amazing the stuff that is out there and you can find on the Internet. A song about WVB?H-1Bs as used by S Cal Ed are a crime.Sunday truce.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        3. JLM

          .You are stating the reality which no Democrat wants to admit:EVERY TAX CUT IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA HAS RESULTED IN AN INCREASE IN TAX COLLECTIONS BY THE TREASURYThink about that and know you have to provide tax relief to people who actually pay taxes to obtain it. If you engage in class warfare, a central core value of the D party, you cannot embrace it.Who really knew this? JFK — nobody remembers what a big tax cutter he was. Rich as Hell and a man who understood the economy.Ask not what ……..JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. sigmaalgebra

            You are thinking of Walter Heller?

          2. JLM

            .I am thinking of a bacon, egg, cheese, avocado breakfast taco with the green salsa.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. Pete Griffiths

        What is this ‘socialistic turn?’

        1. pointsnfigures


          1. Pete Griffiths

            Fraid that doesn’t clear it up for me.In fact if anything it further confuses me. If people are so upset with this ‘socialistic turn’ why did they support Bernie in such numbers – who specifically advocated for something that should probably be so characterized?

          2. pointsnfigures

            huge unchecked bureaucracy that causes corporations to consolidate. If you are serious, read the research from George Stigler, and perhaps this piece by John Cochrane. http://faculty.chicagobooth… Anytime govt competes with private sector, we are drifting to socialism

          3. Pete Griffiths

            I find it unlikely that the people you talked to as you drove “through the heart of the country” “talking to people” have read Stigler or Cochrane. I’m sure you met some people disturbed by a ‘socialistic turn’ but for most people that’s just a dog whistle. They don’t have a clue what a ‘socialistic turn’ is. They see no conflict between accepting government services and demanding more such services and yet resenting the taxes and authorities that provide those services. People feel betrayed and pissed because the great society isn’t working for them for sure. But they don’t have anything like a meaningful analysis of the problem. Ironically, love Bernie or hate him, he at least has a consistent (and consistently held) view of what the problems are that have led to this peasant’s revolt and I suspect that it is the coherence of his narrative that led to the very substantial support he garnered. Let’s be honest – his ‘socialism’ built a much more significant base than anyone’s libertarianism.

          4. JLM

            .Dog whistles get a bad name. A dog hears them and people may not.In much the same way, a wage earner in the heartland may look at the state of our increasingly welfare driven state and say, “My taxes, my increasing healthcare premiums, my inceasing health insurance deductibles, are killing me.”As they say in my part of the country, “That dog won’t hunt.”The 2014 Republican sweep was created by muscle workers, people who work with their muscles and their spouses who voted their household interests, who gave the Republicans a huge, historic, momentous victory taking the Senate, increasing their ownership of the House, taking more state legislatures and governors’ mansions since the 1920s.That was real; it really happened and the populism one of the candidates is tapping into is the extension of that anger.[This sentiment was unpolled before 2014 and is unpolled now. The country is mad as Hell. I sit on the Travis County Republican Party Executive Committee, am a Precinct Chair, and an Election Judge and I can feel it at the grass roots level. The last election every single voter from 7-8:30 AM was a Republican.]Keep your dog inside tonight cause he’s on the hunt.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Pete Griffiths

            The problem with Trump isn’t that he can’t recognize anger when he sees it. He has that ability in common with any demagogue. It’s that whilst such anger is easy to amplify and manipulate it serves no useful purpose socially in the hands of those who use it only to promote their own personal political ends. All too often all such fanning the flames achieves is to awaken destructive forces that make it harder to deliver meaningful solutions.

          6. JLM

            .I was trying to behave myself and not mention the name of the Republican candidate. And then you do it.You are undoubtedly an expert on him in much the same way the 16 other Republican candidates — elected officials with gobs of electoral experience, tons of money, the best consultants — were.Yada, yada, yada — predictable, boring, wrong.The country is angry. The 2014 elections proved that. The Republicans squandered what they were given making the electorate angrier still.Of all the geniuses in the political world, only one business guy — not even a politician — from NYC, who builds complex, high dollar 100-story buildings, rides the wave the others and their attendant experts and family legacies cannot even see.What are his “personal political ends” that you can fathom that others could not?What we have now is not working. The essential part of change is to demolish the current status in order to rebuild it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. LE

            Kind of what I said in reply, but in a different way.I am not saying that other politicians don’t talk to the small men or read about them, but I do believe that Trump actually works with them and understands them as a result of being essentially a small businessman at heart.

          8. JLM

            .When you are a developer, you come to inspect your buildings. It is the most fun of the job. You ride the outside elevator to the top floors and check out the views.You bump into the people who build the buildings. The ironworkers, the concrete finishers, the job super. You talk.You don’t talk about politics. You talk about real shit. You don’t let them call you “mister” — you tell them to call you by your first name because you are in their world.When you top out, you put a small fir tree on top to ward off the evil spirits. You have a topping out party for the workers. No bigwigs just the workers. You shake a lot of hands. You get a little dirty. You celebrate hard work, life, success.This is as real as it gets.You talk to real people who use their muscles to make their living and you realize they are the salt of the earth. I’d much rather talk to any ironworker than any politician.They can smell a phony a hundred miles away. They love screwing with you.This is what the Republican nominee has — the earthy touch.You will not obtain the earthy touch on Martha’s Vineyard playing golf. You will find it in the muddy waters of Baton Rouge when the Cajun Navy materializes to save their fellow man.Of course, you will have to get off your ass, store your golf clubs, and go there. You may even have to break a sweat.Most people are not genuine enough and earthy enough to be comfortable with these kind of people but it is worth it. It is one of the reasons I loved the Army. It was earthy.I never built 100-story buildings but I built some 50-story ones. I went to a lot of topping out parties and we didn’t eat canapes. It was BBQ and beer. It was real.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. LE

            I am big with talking to workmen (I have said that a million times here) so I understand the value of doing so and understanding how they think, at least the ones that I come in contact with. I actually find what people have to say (that are not ‘tools’) interesting and enjoy doing so.

          10. Pete Griffiths

            Which is precisely what Bernie recognises.

          11. JLM

            .Bernie spoke truth to the Democrats about HRC and he was right.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          12. LE

            Say what you will negative about Trump but I think he absolutely has a direct feel (in the same way that JLM talked about the murderer he worked next to for a summer) for the everyday man than someone like Hillary (for sure) and/or any typical politician that was running for office. He works with and uses and interacts with and sees how the everyday man operates and thinks. He is not an armchair intellectual but he knows how the everyday man thinks, acts and wants. One of the reasons he vanquished the other dwarfs.

          13. Pete Griffiths

            I think you have a point but that it is overstated. Demagogues have indeed always had an intuitive sense for a sector of society. And that may be a vocal segment. But let’s not fall for the idea that “Trump supporter” = “everyday man.” There are plenty of everyday men who don’t support Trump. And the idea that anyone who doesn’t play to the readily manipulable sentiments of a segment of ‘everyday’ men are ‘armchair intellectuals’ is dangerous.

          14. sigmaalgebra

            I don’t think I’m in most ways the Common Man in the Street. But I’m for Trump. Maybe you are not the Common Man in the Street, either. But maybe for your own reasons, some common, some unique, you can vote for Trump.But to win, Trump needs votes. Sorry Jeb! Sorry Mitt. Your appeal was too narrow.Trump? He gets 5,000 to 30,000+ to rallies, apparently commonly ballpark 10,000 in the building with more outside. Maybe these are Common Men/Women. Okay. But they can vote. Recently Trump has been trying to appeal to those of the Blacks and Hispanics who are poor. They can vote, too. That’s part of democracy — get votes.But none of this means that Trump is just for JLM, me, you, the Common Man in the Street, the Blacks and Hispanics who are poor, the people who work with their hands, etc.Some biggies are of broad interest:(A) The economic growth rate should have been much higher for the past 8 years. That would put more money in the pockets of nearly everyone, more tax revenue, less for safety net, start paying down the deficit. Better roads, bridges, airports.(B) Being smart about national security can save lots of precious US blood and treasure, the blood of the children of all the parents, the treasure of everyone in the country. So no more foolish wars, e.g., building modern, constitutional, …, democracies where they are not wanted. No more 15 year wars like a wound that won’t heal. Instead, use what Powell articulated as some of the lessons from Viet Nam. Go to war as a last resort. Only go when essential US national interests are involved — no more bleeding the country white on absurd foreign adventures. When go to war, be clear on the objectives and how to achieve them, QUICKLY. Know how to get OUT. Then, go in, maybe big time, get the objectives, and get OUT. Good example in at least most respects: Gulf War I. Bad example: Gulf War II. Bad example: Akrapistan. A stronger military and a smarter Administration has to go to war less often.And we can both list several more biggies that are important for nearly every citizen in the country.

          15. Pete Griffiths

            Barring a miracle Trump’s support will prove to be too narrow. The numbers at his rallies and indeed the fervor of those present, are misleading Trump himself as to the broadness of his appeal. His advisors regularly dismiss polls, citing the numbers at his rallies. This confusion leads to gaffe after gaffe, missteps that continue to narrow his appeal and enable Hilary to store up ammunition for what will be a blistering series of attack ads that his ongoing blunders have made all too easy.

          16. sigmaalgebra

            > This confusion leads to gaffe after gaffe,I’m fairly well informed on Trump, and I can’t think of anything in the campaign Trump did or said that was significantly wrong on anything significant. You didn’t mention even one such thing.> Barring a miracle Trump’s support will prove to be too narrow.IMHO every significant collection of voters in the country that looks at all objectively at Trump will like him. His appeal is nearly universal; he will be seen as a strong leader, good to terrific on immigration, foreign trade, foreign policy, the economy, taxes, national security, jobs, military strength, and more who tells you what he thinks and is totally sincere.For Hillary, she is a train wreck. For any objective voters, she is dirty, filthy dirty, and has been consistently for 30 years. A lot of her smaller piles of dirt are high among the worst in US politics except for her own larger piles of dirt. Omitting the smaller piles and just touching on her huge ones, seeHillary Clinton Exposedhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…That covers some of her dirt going back 30 years.For some of her recent dirt there isClinton Cash atCLINTON CASH OFFICIAL DOCUMENTARY MOVIE ( FULL )2,413,547 viewsPublished on Jul 23, 2016https://www.youtube.com/wat…There are claims two weeks or so ago that 3+ million people have seen that movie. There has been a lot of support for the correctness of that movie even in the liberal media.For really serious dirt, also very serious legal dirt, also very serious disqualification for anything having anything to do with US foreign policy or national security, there is FBI Director Comey’shttp://www.c-span.org/video…For the actual law involved, section (f) of the US Espionage Act, seehttps://www.law.cornell.edu…For some good clarification on just how bad legally what Comey said is, seehttp://mediamatters.org/res…In super simple terms, bluntly, Hillary could not pass an FBI background check for handling even the lowest level of classified information. So, there is no way she should serve as US Commander in Chief — in the field of humor, the funniest joke of all time.There are a lot of very concerned US citizens, and nearly no informed, concerned US citizen will vote for Hillary over Trump.The serious part of the campaign is just starting, on Labor Day.So, you believe that below is our strong, capable US Commander in Chief to whom the US should trust much of the country?http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/…So, it’s Hillary and her buddy who wrote for her mother’s radical Islamic journal that (A) women with revealing clothes deserve to be raped and (B) the US is to blame for the attack of 9/11/2001 (sorry am not looking up the references just now).Then there ishttps://pbs.twimg.com/media…Gee, which US Secret Service agent gets the honor of carrying and placing Hillary’s little step so that she can get into her Chevy Suburban?What Secret Service agent gets to carry the wholesale boxes of Depends and Pampers for her?For more on a candidate US Commander in Chief, how abouthttps://pbs.twimg.com/media…She will make up those stairs one more time if she POSSIBLY can.Forhttps://pbs.twimg.com/media…glad she’s happy. I know; she was about to walk on to a performance of The Wizard of Oz as the Wicked Witch of the East.Her is your favorite, strong, competent US Commander in Chief really happy:http://media.breitbart.com/

          17. Pete Griffiths

            We are just going to have to agree to disagree.Let’s see what happens with the election and circle back to his popularity or otherwise.

          18. Bruce Warila

            not a fan of Hillary, but come on… if you photoshopped Chris Christie’s head onto any of those photos, they would still be accurate.

          19. sigmaalgebra

            Now Chris Christie seems nearly irrelevant to this election.For the picture with Hillary struggling to get up the stairs, I haven’t seen Christie so struggle.Similarly for the picture where Hillary is using a portable step to get into a Chevy Suburban.For the super happy Hillary, that’s from her convention — Christie could never look like that. Hillary looks like the lonely girl in high school who just got invited to the Senior Prom by the captain of the football team. It’s teenage girl emotions and not US Commander in Chief seriousness, prudence, thoughtfulness — bearing.I interpret this picture as Hillary being really happy for HERSELF. That is, she it thinking 100% about herself and 0% about the responsibility she would be carrying for the country. And that emotion fits with her statements about her being as much an “outsider” as Trump since she would be the first woman president.I don’t care if she would be the first wombat president; I just want the US to have a darned good president, not a race-based affirmative action president or a gender-based affirmative action president.Seeing Hillary say with so much pride and iron determination that she would be “the first woman president” has me try to fit that with the rest of her. The conjecture I come up with is that she grew up knowing how to look and act like a traditional, Midwestern pretty, sweet, demure flower of a girl and young woman and often did look and act that way but that she deeply resented that. Instead, she thought that her father wanted a boy, and from then on she has wanted to prove that she could be as rich, powerful, and ruthless as any boy. It’s a pattern I’ve seen and not just from watching Hillary.So, in that picture, Hillary is about the happiest of her life because she just got within one more step of the biggest goal of her life, being POTUS and, thus, especially in her mind, proving as strongly as possible, that her father was wrong to want a boy instead of a girl. Or, Hillary is REALLY happy in that picture, and, thus, we have to ask just what the heck is she so happy about? Yup, something central to her life. So, her life likely going back over her 30 years of dirt. And going back to her relationship with Bill — power, money partnership. And going back to her speech at Wellesley.Helping the US? Nope. Proving she can beat the men? Yup.But in fact, she is a train wreck, really nasty, apparently about the worst liar in public life, really crooked, e.g., guilty of massive, high level bribery, and guilty of massive violations of section (f) of the US Espionage Act. She is so nasty, such a liar, that she seems to have no concern at all, not a drop of sympathy or empathy, no sense of pride of being a citizen of the US, no sense of integrity, and, really, no concern at all about the future of the US. She is NOT trying to help the US. Instead, Hillary is all about Hillary, in particular all about some personal life issues and goals for Hillary, apparently about proving that she can be as ruthless, powerful, and rich as any man, exercise her frequent phrase “women’s rights are human rights” and would be an “outsider” because she would be the first woman president. So, Hillary is all about Hillary being totally determined to be like a man and not like the woman she was born as or the woman much of society wanted her to be. And Hillary doesn’t just want to be like a man but like a nasty, lying, crooked man, who cares not at all about, e.g., US rules for handling classified information.Let’s be clear: IIRC, from Comey’s speech I referenced in the thread, some of the classified information she had on her home brew e-mail server was at the time marked classified much higher than Top Secret. There is suspicion that the information was US NSA GAMMA information, and that is about the most secret information the US has. Standard examples include the US being able to listen in on conversations of foreign leaders, conversations the leaders are assuming are secure. Getting this ability took a lot of US time, money, effort, determination, treasure, and maybe blood. But Hillary’s unsecured server may well have let those same foreign leaders discover that their conversations were not secure. Then those leaders no doubt tried to plug the leaks. So, the US lost the ability and maybe some lives of spies. But, Hillary didn’t give a sh*t. Instead, she wanted to hide her e-mail. That is, she wanted to keep the pay to play bribery scam she had with Bill (he took the money and as SoS she delivered the corresponding favors) going. Hillary cares about her bribery scam and doesn’t give a sh*t about the US.Important picture.For the picture with Huma and Hillary, Hillary just does NOT look like a good candidate for a strong US Commander in Chief. Instead Hillary looks like she is out for a walk, with her companion but this time without her walker, from her Happy Acres rest home.Sure, using pictures is a weak argument. But, the pictures exist, and one of the things people do have to do in life is pay attention to pictures of people. Sure, I’d rather make all the decisions with rock solid text, but that approach and throwing out all pictures is giving up too much for real insight into people. Besides, I omitted some pictures that are much worse but might have been photoshoppedBut before I gave the pictures, I gave well-referenced, for politics relatively rock solid, material on Hillary. So, I didn’t just give the pictures.I can’t argue that the pictures are rock solid evidence. Still, I suspect that ignoring all such pictures would be foolish.

          20. sigmaalgebra

            > demagogueCareful. Some Trump opponents are trying to lead you around by your nose. “Demagogue” is their slander for the college educated crowd. Otherwise their standard slanders are racist, sexist, misogynist, xenophobic, etc. They just throw those accusations out there.The Hillary campaign slander is even worse than the old campaign statement “Late one Saturday night, my opponent was caught red handed engaging in nepotism with his own pretty, teenage daughter!”.Of course, their evidence is either missing or poor. E.g., racist? They want to get by saying that because Trump wants to enforce our long standing laws and procedures on immigration. Of course, they don’t mention his big fight, including a big lawsuit, in Palm Beach to break the all-white norm and open the place to everyone as inhttp://spectator.org/64643_…The xenophobic stuff would say that he would not like people from Eastern Europe, right? Of course, he married two such. And look at his buddy, from Lebanon who talked just before Trump’s acceptance speech. And there is much more solid evidence that Trump is not the least bit xenophobic.The sexist stuff conflicts strongly with how he raised Ivanka and the women he has promoted including the current head of his campaign.It does appear that in the Democrat play book, the first technique is to play the race card, and they have done that.The Democrats and their buddies in the media just throw out distortions, lies, slanders against Trump, just keep repeating them in classic propaganda work, without any good support, and eventually some people believe them.Watch how you are being manipulated.Or, so, maybe at times Trump is loud and direct. Okay. But the alternative is Hillary, and can compare Trump’s loud and direct with, say, nasty, lying, crooked Hillary and her massive violation of section (f) of the US Espionage Act as inhttp://avc.com/2016/08/trap…If you are a US citizen, then it is your country, too. You can vote for Hillary and seriously hurt our country if you want. Or you can vote for someone who really wants to help the US.

          21. pointsnfigures

            They don’t need to read Stigler or Cochrane. They experience it viscerally, personally, and emotionally

          22. JLM

            .There is a lot more wisdom in breaking a sweat with a tool in your hand than ever was printed in a book.I dug ditches one summer with a guy who served 25 years for murder in Florida. I should have a freakin’ PhD with what I learned from him.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          23. sigmaalgebra

            > There is a lot more wisdom in breaking a sweat with a tool in your hand than ever was printed in a book.Gee, I’ve done a lot of sweating with tools in my hands!

          24. Pete Griffiths

            As do Bernie’s supporters.

        2. JLM

          .There is a huge slice of America who looks FIRST to the gov’t to solve their problems. Legislation like Obamacare, which has been a huge administrative and financial failure, is an example.Need a bit of convincing, do you?Look to the welfare rolls, the food stamp rolls, the Sec 8 housing apps. It’s there.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Matt Zagaja

            Before Obamacare I could not buy private market insurance due to a pre-existing condition. They simply would not sell it to me. I still keep the denial letter from Aetna on my desk as a reminder of the compassion of the health insurance companies. Obamacare, at any price, is vastly better than the old system for people like me.

          2. JLM

            .No question that Obamacare was great for some. I am very glad you are one of them Matt. God bless you.I ran a little public company and insured 100% of my people at company expense. Nobody was ever turned down. Ever.Our average premium was about $3-400/person the last year I was the CEO (about 5 years ago) and it was configured in such a manner that the balance of a family could be added for peanuts.I supposedly gave an employee committee a fixed amount of money roughly equivalent to 85% of total cost which the committee used to be able to stretch, with competition and negotiation, to pay 100% of total cost.I turned a blind eye to their resourcefulness though I always maintained the fiction I was only paying for 85%. It was a fun joke.I provided health, pharma, dental, vision, life insurance. I had a lot of child bearing age women. It was a damn good plan. There were co-pays and no deductibles.That plan, under Obamacare, was declared a Cadillac Plan and would be, essentially, banned — meaning it would not be tax deductible to the company as an expense.That same plan today would cost $1250 and would have a structural deductible ($4000) rather than a co-pay provision. No pharma.Alternatively, the company could cancel the plan and throw everyone onto the exchanges to hunt for themselves individually. Lose the buying power of group and take up their own spears to get theirs in a marketplace which has all the negotiating power.So, Matt, you got a better outcome. They all got a worse outcome.Good plan?If one would have taken the same amount of money they spent on Obamacare, they could have paid directly for the health care of every American who did not have coverage day one.So, Matt, good plan?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Reddy_s

            JLM Thanks for the details of showing why Obamacare is bad for Employees and Employer . Here I am trying to recap my understanding from your post .Pls. correct my numbers , so that I am trying to get my understanding correct2011 ( pre ObamaCare ) Healthcare cost to a family of four ———————————————————– 1/ premium for the Employee : $400/month ( paid by Employer, tax Deductible to company ) 2/ premium for additional 3 members of family : $300/month ( 3 x $100 guess here? ) ( paid by Employee ) 3/ $0 structural deductible/year for employee , only Co-Pay per visitLet us assume there is 35% INCREASE ( as industry NOT related to Obamacare ) in Healthcare costs from 2011 to 2016. So $700 of above 2011 $700 Healthcare costs are $945 in 2016 Dollars ( 135% of $700 )2016 ObamaCare Healthcare cost to a family of four ———————————————————– 1/ premium for the Employee + 3 family members : $1250/month so our OLD employer pays his share of premium : $540 ( 135% of OLD $400 , and it is NOT Tax Deductable to Company ) 2/ employee premium for 3 members of family+ extra : $710 ( paid my Employee ) 3/ $4000 structural deductible/year for employee

          4. JLM

            .In addition, the employee expense for his own family is now AFTER tax dollars (which means he loses the gov’t as his partner as they let him use the tax portion of each dollar before).The deductibles are staggering and they are in the place of modest co-pays. The dedutibles are first dollar deductibles and apply to everything.The annual increases have been enormous and the anticipated increase for 2016 is anticipated to be as much as 35%.Higher premiums, less coverage, huge deductibles, no before tax dollars (if the employer cancels the plan which they must), almost no pharma coverage, a new bureaucracy which is not customer-centric.Yeah, it’s one of the worst deals in the history of gov’t.You CANNOT keep your own doctor. You CANNOT keep your insurance plan. These turned out to be willful lies and were never in the cards from the beginning.There is no cross state line competition. There is no tort reform. The exchanges are failing with almost 75% bankrupt (which throws you into the national exchange) and the biggest insurors are pulling out.So this is a shit sandwich which doesn’t even have two pieces of white bread.Worst. POS. Legislation. Ever.Passed by the Dems without a single Republican vote. They own this ugly bitch.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Reddy_s

            JLM , Thank you So much for your time and detailed answers .

          6. sigmaalgebra

            You just need to be in a state with (A) community rating or (B) a special fund for people who can’t be insured. Only the richer states try to afford (A), but IIRC even Arkansas has (B).ObamaCare was never good US health care policy. It was junk at the beginning and well known to be. It’s clear enough that Obama, Pelosi, and Frank all knew it was junk.

          7. Matt Zagaja

            The “special fund” did exist but had a 12 month uninsured waiting period before you could enroll and the premium was 8x what I’d pay in private market, and 4x what I paid on the Obamacare exchange.

          8. sigmaalgebra

            In part ObamaCare was a cynical, extreme, basically angrily socialistic case of old health care “cost shifting”.

          9. LE

            If we all as a country believe that someone like you should be covered for your pre-existing condition then the government could have provided incentives and/or back stopping for companies that wrote that type of policy, as opposed to an overwhelming overhaul of an existing system.

          10. Pete Griffiths

            There are many problems where people SHOULD look first to the govt to solve their problems. The only question is where the line should be drawn and how such solutions should be implemented.

          11. JLM

            .Let’s dribble in a bit of the Constitution which states the limited purposes of the Federal gov’t, shall we?There is a difference between what the Feds were intended to provide and those rights reserved to the states.In creating a “United” states, the Constitution was clear. The states grant limited powers to the Feds, such as the right to create a national army (even though the states still have National Guards which are state armies subject to Federalization in times of national peril).The states grant all of the powers the Federal gov’t possesses. All of them. Any rights not granted to the Feds are reserved to the states. It’s in writing.Where we are now is that the Federal gov’t has become self-perpetuating and over reaching.An example is the Dept of Education which professes to oversee education on a national level when schools are funded by local taxes at an Independent School District taxing subdivision.The functions are not the problem. It is where the function is located which is the problem. It is not the system outlined in the Constitution.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          12. Pete Griffiths

            Let’s distinguish between Federal and State by all means. But they are both ‘government’ and my point is that wherever such functions should be constitutionally situated doesn’t, IMHO, alter the fact that there are such functions that citizens should look first to the government to service. There is nothing inherently evil about government agencies any more than there is something evil about manufacturing plants or financial institutions. Horses for courses. 🙂

          13. JLM

            .There are not strong enough words in the English language to express the depths of my disagreement with your statement.As Ronald Reagan said, “The most feared words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’I WROTE YOU A RATHER LONGER REPLY BUT DISQUS HAS BEEN ACTING UP, ATE IT, AND I GIVE UP FOR TODAY.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          14. Marc-Oliver

            Obamacare failed, because ‘private’ companies were involved.

          15. JLM

            .Obamacare failed because it was written in a hurry by the same private companies and their lobbyists, it was passed without regular order (no subcommittee hearings, no committee deliberation, no floor debate, no amendments) and on a straight party line vote.It was a POS bit of eponymous legislation which will go down as one of the worst executions of an arguably noble and worthy idea.The only thing worse than the legislation itself was the launch of the website which simply validated the ineptitude of all involved. The fact that it failed is laid fairly at the feet of its namesake.It was a community to be organized too far.It was the worst display of a lack of judgment in the entire Obama administration and will identify his legacy for all time (other than transgender bathrooms which were a huge triumph and solved a critical problem for civilization).JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. sigmaalgebra

            > It was the worst display of a lack of judgment in the entire Obama administrationYup, it was bad, really bad, definitely smoking funny stuff and shooting much of the US health care system in the gut, wasting money, killing jobs, and more.But, with only a little reflection, can think of much worse from Obama. Let’s see: Iran? Enabling ISIS? Dumping Gaddafi? Letting the US nukes degrade. Going 8 years after the 2008 crash with the US economy still sick. To do that bad, have to want to and work at it.

          17. JLM

            .Dude, face it, you’re a cynic. Pot. Kettle. Black.Worst. President. Ever. << No, I did NOT say that.JLMwww.themusingsoftheibigredc…

          18. sigmaalgebra

            For that unique performance, Obama had some special motivation and talent, his technique of leading from behind, the liberal media covering for him, and did work at it fairly consistently and effectively between his bro White House dinners, jump shot practice, pickup roundball games, strength training, cardio, maybe laps in the White House pool, and golf game. He stands to leave the White House in the best physical shape of any US president in history.

          19. JLM

            .He leaves in great shape.He leaves the country in pathetic shape.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          20. sigmaalgebra

            Who is the bigger fool? The fool our politically correct affirmative action politics put in the White House. Or the many millions of fools who voted him into that office twice when they basically knew what he was?And, now, for such a big mistake, we have a unique, truly historic opportunity to double down, do it over again, and maybe still worse, by voting in, right, you figured it out, Hillary.Ah, don’t bother to get your blood to boil by swimming laps. Instead, just read http://www.breitbart.com/20…where General Flynn, former head of the DIA, 20,000 staff, argues from two years of face to face time with Obama and Hillary that they refused to permit radical Islam in any conversation and had those words removed from Army field manuals, etc.One guess at an explanation is that for whatever reasons they both wanted ISIS to be successful.How can an informed, responsible, caring US citizen vote for Hillary? And any responsible US citizen will be both informed and caring.

          21. sigmaalgebra

            Hold on there, Hillary. Don’t fall. That’s obviously a really big step up for you:https://pbs.twimg.com/media

          22. Pete Griffiths


          23. sigmaalgebra

            ObamaCare failed because it was never intended by anyone with the relevant power to be successful.Pelosi wanted it for her own sweet reasons. Obama knew it would pass and otherwise ignored it, never tried to understand it, and never tried to make it good. All along Obama was much more interested in his jump shot. Barney Frank expected it to fail and, then, lead to what he wanted, single payer. Some insurance companies wanted it because they could make some money for a while from the subsidies. A lot of big government types wanted it because it would be a huge pile of money and power for them. The NYT type far left media wanted it because they want government like in, say, East Germany and otherwise had something to write about to promote their coveted, dream affirmative action POTUS.But, IIRC, Congress was smart enough to put a deadline on that absurd party: ObamaCare will expire early in 2017 unless renewed by Congress, and the chances of that are rock solidly just 0.000.ObamaCare was never health care; it was just political theater.

          24. William Mougayar

            We agree here totally. I’m against big government and more government services where they aren’t needed, because in most cases the government delivers services poorly. They can’t even get road or infrastructure construction to get done on time or on-budget. They are good at issuing passports, drivers licenses, police services, and the likes.But an exception would be healthcare in the US. I’m not saying that Obamacare is the right way, but it’s a shame that the cost of healthcare in the US is double the 2nd country behind them in terms of $/per capita. Universal healthcare should be a right, especially in a developed country. That’s where the big misconception is, in terms of understanding the Canadian healthcare system. The Canadian government doesn’t run it. They just fund a big part of it, and it is as a whole as good as any place in the US. Plenty of Canadian doctors can make million+ dollars per year, and hospitals have to be run on-budget and efficiently. There are so many layers of inefficiencies in the US healthcare administration system, that much of its higher costs don’t actually go to patient care, sadly.

          25. LE

            In some cases US drug costs are very high compared to other countries where lower rates have been negotiated. So we are paying for the discount that others are getting. Because I believe it’s a zero sum game and the pharmaceutical companies need to be widely profitable to bet on new drugs and treatments. Maybe that is not the case 100% of the time but I think true enough for the majority of the participants.

          26. William Mougayar

            True, drug costs are another factor.

          27. JLM

            .I buy my drugs in Canada (CanadaDrugCenter on the Interweb) and save more than 75% on the same, the exact same, Merck drugs made and shipped from Canada, Australia, New Zealand.I email my prescriptions and follow up via mail.It takes about 3 weeks — the only inconvenience.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          28. William Mougayar

            Thanks for your contribution to the Canadian economy 🙂

          29. JLM

            I also still drink a Molson’s when available.Merger?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          30. William Mougayar

            Ha…maybe if you keep it up, in addition to listening to Justin Bieber, flying Air Canada and wearing a Canada Goose, I will petition the government to grant you an honorary citizenship 🙂

          31. JLM

            .If HRC wins, it may not be honorary. I will cross illegally and take up residence. Bringing my chainsaw.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          32. William Mougayar

            I wonder which camp is larger: people like you, or others that will cross if DT is elected?Just trying to plan for how many guests we might have on Jan 21st 2017.

          33. JLM

            .The single most effective cost containment opportunities were not even health related issues. They were administrative.1. Allow nationwide health insurance policies with a company able to write coverage across state lines; and,2. Tort reform.Texas passed tort reform and it has worked like a champ. It was not even a hard call but it would have gored the sacred cow of Democrat funding — the trial lawyers.The exchanges at the core of the program have all been failures with a vast majority now closed down. Nothing provides evidence like results.The Titanic was the best ship ever built until it nicked that iceberg and then the results indicted the assertion it was the best ship ever.The Obamacare results sit on the bottom of the same ocean as the Titanic and it has been hard to find an affordable lifeboat.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          34. William Mougayar

            “The single most effective cost containment opportunities were not even health related issues. They were administrative.”Apparently so. But that admin part is a big ball of wax, tough to crack.The words “affordable healthcare” shouldn’t be an oxymoron, as that is the only type of viable healthcare system.

          35. LE

            There are definitely a class of people in this country (vices and all) that do need the government to solve their problems. I don’t think we will ever get away from that.Edit: My problem is the handouts and help for people that actually don’t need it, and/or the enabling.

      3. SubstrateUndertow

        “soialistic”has nothing to do with anything, that language is an obsolete 19th century framing which now hobbles any attempt to deal with our contemporary problems !Our modern technological realities, not to mention 7 billion informationally aware stockholders who will not be denied, are now simply forcing our hand to pursue organic interdependency solutions mandated by the raw causal necessity of it all. So stop talking about irrelevant bug-a-boos like “socialistic”.”Socialistic” under present networked technical realities simply translates into interdependent social/technical necessity, it is time to cease and desist with such conceptual luddite foot dragging obstructive/obsolete linguistic framing and get on with our contemporary environmental reality.

      4. Stephen Palmer

        Agree with much of this. The problem with the libertarian philosophy is, upward mobility is too difficult in society right now. Investment in our economy is abundant, but skills are not. I used to vote Republican, but don’t anymore bc I don’t see how they are trying to improve the skills gap. Some charter schools is a drop in the bucket compared to what must be done.

    3. sigmaalgebra

      For family financial security, the short answer is, find something in business good to do, do it, start, own, and run your own business.Demand? For what people want, there is the famous one word answer — “MORE”. So, give it to them.Opportunity? Let’s see, case with fans, $50, motherboard, $100, 8 core processor at 4.0 GHz, $180, 32 GB ECC main memory, $112, Western Digital 1 TB disk drives, $54, mouse, keyboard, screen. Can do really well for less than $1000. That’s much less than the equipment for nearly any other business, grass mowing, pizza carryout, auto repair, etc.> Trump can still come from behind and win.It’s not clear that he was ever behind. Can’t trust the polls since nearly all the media is a propaganda arm for the Hillary campaign.For the $1 a day people, there is a claim: They can’t compete with the robots in the developed countries. And the massive importing of goods from the poor countries to the developed ones is about to slow way down because costs of long distance management, coordination, language translations, quality control, culture differences, long distance shipping, and delays are now too much.US oil imports? As inhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/…is in part:Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources, threw down the gauntlet last week – with some poetic licence – claiming that his pre-tax production costs in the Permian Basin of West Texas have fallen to $2.25 a barrel.”Definitely we can compete with anything that Saudi Arabia has. We have the best rock,” he said. Revolutionary improvements in drilling technology and data analytics that have changed the cost calculus faster than almost anybody thought possible.

    4. Elia Freedman

      I’m having a hard time with the mythology. It seems like, in the past, if you ever really wanted to get ahead you had to start your own business. And if you wanted to get paid a reasonable wage (small house, vacation, etc., as you say) you needed a union job.Besides the fact that there are less union jobs, how has that changed?

      1. Rob Underwood

        It’s not getting ahead — it’s surviving. It’s eating. People are worried they won’t be able to feed their kids.I agree it might be mythology. And I agree small business is a way to “get ahead” (though high risk).People are comparing themselves to the lives of their parents (whether accurately remembered or not) and not happy with the comparison. They want to feed their kids today and not be panicked every day they won’t be ably to feed them tomorrow.

        1. Elia Freedman

          I understand all that. But instead of doing something about it, it seems an awful lot of people are sitting around waiting for someone to bail them out. It didn’t work this way fifty years ago and it shouldn’t work that way now.

          1. Rob Underwood

            I don’t know if there are “awful lot of people are sitting around waiting for someone to bail them out”. I do think there are a lot of people who can’t figure out where they fit in the economy. And I think given the pace of technology change now, maybe things are different than they were 50 years ago.I try to think about “real” people — personas if you will in “marketing speak.” A 52 year old man living in Ohio who has been working on an assembly line all his life and has now lost his job. He’s got a wife who works at a local Walmart and she makes $15/hour for 30 hours a week to help add to the family income. 3 kids, two still at home. What does he do now that he’s out of work?I don’t know that the government should bail him out per se, but the two overall ideas I hear from this board are that he should 1) get himself retrained, perhaps to do something in tech or 2) start a small business.The first requires some degree of capital and/or credit. Then there’s the problem of making ends meet while he’s being retrained, followed with the perhaps bigger problem of finding a company willing to hire a first time tech worker who is over 30.The second idea also requirements capital and credit. It too will not produce a spigot of cash right away either. And the chance of failure is quite high.I get the whole “pull yourself up by bootstraps thing” and I do think there are some – though maybe not as many as some think – who get dependent on the government. But I think nowadays, with this rate of change, often from industries disrupted by entrepreneurs and investors on this board, it’s a very difficult proposition, especially for workers over 40 with families, particularly if they are not college educated. This desperation can be paralyzing.

          2. JLM

            .Of course it is and it is even worse than anyone is willing to admit. Know why?Because we value ourselves and identify ourselves with our work.Ask what or who someone is and they answer with their work. We are our work and it defines us.Nonetheless, in the harsh reality that is life, you have to do what you have to do. You have to treat triumph and disaster the same and get on with your life.Life ain’t easy and getting old is not for sissies.That is why when we have 1% GDP growth, somebody should kick someone else in the nuts and say, “That’s not good enough.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. JLM

        .You had to save your money. You had to harness the power of compound interest.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          You had to save your money.Yeah oh boy is that true. I am sure you remember growing up as I did. We went out to dinner 1 or 2 times per year. Got a toy at birthday and at Chanukah. Mom made dinner every night with no excuses. Even when she had a part time job as well.Parents today, you know the ones that are only 1 disaster away from losing the house (to exaggerate but it’s often true) buying things for their kids and spending money in a way as if the tree will always be there. Can’t say no to the kids for anything so spoiled they are. Parents are moved by the collective behavior of their peer group. All sorts of overseas kids experience for middle class parents and things that will help their kid get into the best college and things that are fun. Forget about having a job in the summer and making money. Forget about having a job afterschool and making money.

          1. JLM

            .Credit cards. There were no credit cards.You also lived as a family unit. If you weren’t at the dinner table in my house, you did not eat. There was no fast food, no grazing, no takeout pizza. There was dinner and there was hungry.When you sat down to eat, you ate what was in front of you. No whining.We used to be fishermen. I caught a lot of bluefish. I hated bluefish. Still do (though I now know how to make smoked bluefish and cream cheese spread).My mother made bluefish every possible way you could.One night I was going to a John Wayne movie ($0.15/ticket including popcorn and a drink on the Army post) and I refused to eat my bluefish.I sat at the table for 3 hours refusing to eat the bluefish. My father said, “No bluefish, no movie.”He won. I lost. I learned. He taught.I still love John Wayne movies. I still hate bluefish.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            Well I am a bit younger than you are (all of the above is true that you say btw) but we did have credit cards during the time period that I am referring to.Let me poll the jury individually:If you weren’t at the dinner table in my house, you did not eat. There was no fast food, no grazing, no takeout pizza. There was dinner and there was hungry.Yes!When you sat down to eat, you ate what was in front of you. No whining.Yes!I sat at the table for 3 hours refusing to eat the bluefish. My father said, “No bluefish, no movie.”Yes! (My father’s preferred phrase was “bang your head against the wall” or something like that. Also the food wasn’t so tasty that you wanted to overeat it and get fat either. That was in retrospect great. Just enough to not be hungry.To your last point this is the type of shit that I do with my stepkids (my kids did not grow up with me..). Everything is absolute clear expectations they know exactly what will happen if they don’t comply. I am not their friend or their buddy (even though we do fun things).The other day my stepdaughter yelled that she wanted me to ‘get out of her room’. I told her it was not her room, it was my room I had paid for it (I did was my money that bought the house) and she was there because I allowed her to be there. I laid down the important rule of respect early on so when she gets a bit older I will not have issues. I said “if you talk to me that way again you will lose something so keep that in mind”. And I will not only follow through I will enjoy doing so and will not wilt at all. I will not give up just because they inevitably give me a hard time. This is not to say we don’t have fun and in the end what I have observed is that most kids actually really like the security of knowing exactly what to expect and what the boundaries are. And no they don’t get some kind of pass to bad behavior because of how they do in school.The boy complained the other night about having to clean the kitchen floor and table (and every spot by the way) which takes him 15 minutes maybe to do. I really gave it to him. My wife had just driven 1.5 hours to Cape May and 1.5 hours back so he could be with a friend for 1 day. Boy did I let him have it.

          3. JLM

            .My kids are 27 and 30. In the last 5 years my stock has risen appreciably as they have gotten a taste of what life is like and how hard it is to attain the standard of living in which they were raised.My Perfect Daughter (married to a great guy, living in Savannah, working remotely for a NYC startup, running her own web based business, http://www.temperowe.com), in the last week, said,”Dad, I miss the country club life.”Life is a learning experience and you have to teach your kids. Your kids will ultimately appreciate it and understand it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. LE

            http://www.temperowe.com – trivial to get an embroidery machine and do custom products.”Dad, I miss the country club life.”When my daughter (24) moved to NYC for her first job (at a nonprofit organization) I remember the first week when she said something like “is this all there is”?. She had spent the years in college doing many fun things [1] and wasn’t ready for the work world full time. What her mother who she lived with supported. She has since adjusted and grown in her job, gotten a raise, promotion etc. Thank god I pushed her to get a job in NYC where at least there is some excitement and things to do (low on men of course). Otherwise she would be rotting in the suburbs…[1] I on the other hand did nothing fun in college and had even lived at home and worked during college and in the summer. I don’t actually remember having any fun in college at all. Don’t think I literally attended a single party (maybe 1 or 2 but I honestly don’t remember..) As a result when I graduated there was no shock at all of working and getting down to business. I can have fun now if I want so in my case the ‘suffer now enjoy later’ more or less paid off. I still work all the time, since that is what I am comfortable with it seems and what makes me happy. This I think came from my father who observed those in the camps who died because they couldn’t work and provide value. My dad kept busy with his investments and real estate until he died. No brain rot at all as a result.

          5. JLM

            .As an aside, you could not believe the regulatory hurdles she had to jump through to make a product in the US. She contracts everything. The product has to be labelled with label content mandated by the gov’t.Her sleep masks are being given out at the Telluride Film Festival and she makes a handsome profit.I am her unpaid adviser and while she has promised me a slice of equity, it hasn’t been forthcoming.The funny thing about life is my life has been nothing but fun. It has been interesting as Hell. I remember sitting on the side of a frozen hill in the early 1970s in Korea being whipped by the biggest snowflakes in the history of the world coming down from Manchuria.We were on a field problem in which we were supposed to retreat ten miles on foot in the middle of the night through some mountains. We’d been humping it for about six hours and I ordered a break.My platoon sergeant came up to me and asked, “We having fun yet, Lieutenant?”I said, “I’m having fun. And everybody else is also, sergeant. That’s an order.”Afterwards whenever we would stop, the sergeant — who was a great platoon sergeant and taught me one hell of a lot about soldiering and leadership — used to say, “Fun break, y’all. Lieutenant says that’s an order.”Life is fun and the alternative is not. Enjoy yourself and smoke ’em if you got ’em.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Vasudev Ram

            “camps”- King Rat by James Clavell. Got to read the book, not the Wikipedia entry or book reviews, to get it. The King was American, BTW.- Admiral Stockdale – the Stockdale Paradox.

          7. JLM

            .The story of suffering in Japanese POW camps was horrific. They are a barbaric people.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. Elia Freedman

            Reading the two of you is like watching old Dana Carvey Saturday Night Live skits:https://m.youtube.com/watch

      3. JLM

        .Of course you are absolutely correct. I agree more with you than you are capable of agreeing with yourself.Life is choices. Current life is all about instant gratification. Unfortunately being successful takes longer than one four hour period on a Saturday afternoon.If a person were to elect to get an education in computer science, software development, welding, air conditioning repair, computer network installation — they would be assured of making a good living.You would have to move to where those jobs are.If you cannot afford to go to college, join the military, serve 3 years, get the GI Bill but stop telling me it is hard to make your way in the world.The problem with opportunity is it shows up in overalls, boots, and work gloves. A lot of people don’t recognize it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Elia Freedman

          It isn’t easy. Too many people expect it to be.

          1. JLM

            .Equally importantly, the struggle is where we find ourselves. We are changed by the struggle. The friction exposes our character and our grit.When we make it, we miss the struggle.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Elia Freedman

            Well said.

          3. Rob Underwood

            But if you’re 52 and out of work and have 3 kids to feed, you just want to feed your kids, and it probably feels too late to get into computer science, or even AC repair. That’s where the desperation comes in.

          4. JLM

            .Bad news, you’re likely to live to be 115. You have plenty of time to do anything you set your mind to. Physically, at 52, you’re still a young man.Stonewall Jackson, prof at my alma mater said, “You may be whatever you resolve to be.”I learned how to fly airplanes at 50 and have 3,000 hours.Regardless how old old old you live to be, you’re never going to be younger than you are today, so go for it.Instead of giving people unemployment checks, we should be giving training. Except for poets. No poets.Every person has 7 careers in them. Go find them.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. jason wright

      i don’t agree that people are “trapped” as Fred put it, but they are certainly dissuaded by the system. the question is whether the system has been deliberately designed and constructed to be this way, or not.

    6. JLM

      .Well played.The US is at an all time high in age discrimination. Look at HP and Google both being sued for rampant and systemic age discrimination — why?Because they can replace older workers (40-ish and older) with much less costly young workers.This is also the driver of such farces such a S Con Ed in California and their use of H-1B visa farms to fire American software engineers and hire cheaper replacements.JLMwww.themusiongsofthebigredc…

      1. Rob Underwood

        I give the NYC tech community high marks for its general inclusiveness and commitment to community. This is in so small part due to our host.But on age discrimination NYC tech does not do so well. It’s very difficult to get an interview at a NYC tech company if you are over 30 and near impossible over 35, at which point you sort of get what I call the “How is this pile of ant food talking and moving?” stare. Even being in your late 20s can be over the hill. If you want a tech job in NYC the best suggestion I have for you is to be born after Bill Clinton’s inauguration.What’s no less pernicious and dangerous is the approach that comes with this age bias to technology stacks in NYC. It’s technology as fashion. Three weeks ago I heard a dude go off at length about Angular and its age as if he was describing Fortran. Believe it or not, the entire world’s computer systems do not need to be rewritten in node.js and React. We’ve got folks getting matched up with dumb, usually angel, funding who have headful of their 6 week bootcamp that jump around to new technologies faster than they change underwear. Market forces will, thankfully, sort out their startup, but I do sometimes long for a more sophisticated approach to both hiring (yes, there are people over 30 who can write code) and technology (no, MongoDB is not ideal for everything) that is found in the Valley, in part thanks to its roots in the universities there.

    7. laurie kalmanson

      brexit, trump: no safety net, no social contract.

  8. Guy Gamzu

    For anyone interested getting a snapshot on 2015 wealth distribution in the world – https://medium.com/@guygamz

  9. andyswan

    The chart does a very good job of displaying the most critical economic rule: Wealth is CREATED. We’d have far fewer people chanting in the park if this simple fact was required learning for all.Even Fred in this post makes the mistake of dividing the wealth gains into two categories of contribution: “labor” and “capital”.There is a third: THE IDEA. The idea is what is driving a vast majority of this growth. The idea is what creates massive wealth, for its originator, its capital provider, its executor, its distributor and its end user/customer.There is now less friction between the IDEA and its global consumer. That’s the main reason the far right of this chart is moving so much higher.It is easier and faster than ever to turn an idea into massive wealth. This is something we should be celebrating.Let’s leave the policies of envy in the past where they belong.

    1. William Mougayar

      Agreeing with you, so how about you taking that message personally to other parts of this world where they can’t even implement the IDEA.

      1. pointsnfigures

        A lot of it has to do with govt policy unfortunately. Much of it has to do with lack of access to basic needs, then education. Interestingly, I saw an article that showed how the wealthy in Europe were from the same families who were wealthy 600-700 years ago. The US has income mobility which other societies don’t.

        1. William Mougayar

          True that in the US, Canada and non-Euro countries, it’s easier to generate new wealth.

        2. Rob Underwood

          At this point in the US “income mobility” basically means “drown in debt and live in constant fear of losing your job on the vague hope that your neighbor’s kid might some day decades down the road get rich.”

          1. pointsnfigures

            As politely as I can say it, “we disagree”

          2. Rob Underwood

            Fair enough. Won’t matter much when we all have pitchforks up our rear ends or worse. People are really angry and desperate. Saying their is “income mobility” to someone without a job and no hope for one doesn’t make them feel any better. Hence reactions like Brexit.

    2. Rob Underwood

      Andy, As I wrote 4 years ago during Occupy (http://www.robunderwood.com…, one reason people are chanting in the park is because they correctly perceive the system as rigged. “Rigged economy” is a catch phrase but an apt one.What you write above would be great if capital would flow to the best ideas and best teams, and if those jobs that team created would go to the best qualified. But it doesn’t. Look at the hiring practices of many of the top consultancies and i-banks — unless you went to a handful of top ivys and little ivys, you have no chance of getting an internship or interview. Their recruiting policies identify a small list of schools that are the only acceptable school from which people may be hired. The startup world has done a bit better on this, but there is still a lot of bias in terms of gender, race, and – especially – alma mater.For me watching at Atlantic Yards a Russian oligarch with Chinese money tear down my neighborhood and old home, backed by the power of eminent domain, was the eye opener of just how rigged and crooked our system is, and the degree to which government and corporate power have fused (See the following if AY is not something with which you are familiar — https://www.youtube.com/wat… ).I don’t think it’s envy so much as resentment – resentment that the playing field is not only not level but doesn’t even allow most of those who want to play even on the field.

      1. Richard

        The factors of production (inputs) that are used in the production of goods or services are typically one of 4 groups: land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship.

    3. Richard

      What part of this chart displays that wealth is created? (no one disputes this) What this chart does show is that india and china with their large populations are growing and the middle incomes of developed economies are stagnant. In the short run, this is to be expected. Where Fred is wrong is extrapolating this to the long run. In the long run the large educated middle class will rebound.

      1. andyswan

        Literally every part of this chart shows that wealth is created. The “mean” is positive by 25%. All but one point on the chart is positive. Wealth is created….you can prove it to yourself right now by taking something broken in your home and making it work again.

        1. Richard

          Who knew you bought into the theory that digging and filling holes creates wealth? The y axis is percent gain in income not wealth.

          1. andyswan

            How does everyone’s real income increase if there is no creation of wealth?

          2. Richard

            You are conflating flow (income) with wealth (real net assets). And note, the axis is gross not NET income.

          3. andyswan

            Explain to me how real income can increase over 30 years for all participants with no increase in overall wealth. Please do so from a device that existed 30 years ago to really hammer your point home.

          4. Matt Zagaja

            The economic gains from mobile phones do not offset the increased cost of housing, education, and healthcare for the middle class. The Internet is cool and all, but if you asked me if I’d trade have the Internet and my iPhone for the housing and higher education costs that my parents experienced, I’d probably take that deal.

          5. Matt Zagaja

            Instead of building websites I could be building a deck right now. It’d be glorious. And I’d have a grill. Maybe a smoker. BBQ would be made. A backyard would be enjoyed. A fire pit potentially. Central air conditioning. My own driveway. It doesn’t sound terrible.

          6. Richard

            Dont follow the question. Keep in mind that a 25% growth rate over 30 years is the equivalent US Gov Saving Bond, which is basically the rate of inflation.

          7. andyswan

            Chart is adjusted for inflation

          8. Richard

            Even so (notice how inflation is never reported conditioned on age) that’s slightly more than a 1% annual growth rate. Now factor in student loans debts, self directed retirement and you’ll be hard pressed to find the average 30 year old in better shape today that in 1988.

    4. jason wright

      You were absent yesterday. What is Yancey’s mistake?

      1. andyswan

        I didn’t watch the video. I respect him and the decisions he wants to make for his own company.Good luck to Yancey and Kickstarter.

        1. jason wright

          try to make time to watch the video.

    5. David

      Given that far less than 1% of people can come up with “the idea”, shouldn’t that “celebration” be delayed until we can figure out what to do with the other 99+% of people?

  10. William Mougayar

    “this redistribution of income growth creates political issues locally and we are certainly seeing them play out this year.”I’m not sure how to interpret that statement, although it was also part of the conclusion in that report. Do people get angry because strangers in another part of the world are better off than they are? Or they get angry because they drive across their own towns and see these inequalities with their own eyes, while they are subjected to inefficient government institutions around them?Income (and other) inequalities are a local issue for most people, therefore I only blame the local governments and the people themselves for not moving forward with improvements. Global trends take years to materialize, so there is plenty of time for adjustments.Do we need to continue studying and analyzing income inequality gap statistics ad nauseam? Just take a drive across neighborhoods or visit some countries and it’s visible all over. There are umpteen reports and studies by the OECD, UN and every other think thank in the developing world, but what are we doing about it? Solving the problem is much more difficult that describing it.These reports ask questions that are decades and decades in the making. One has to ask: Are many people in China, India, Brazil, Russia and the Tiger countries better off than they were 25 years ago? The answer is Yes, and it keeps improving.But for many other countries, they squander their wealth and can’t improve themselves, and that results in powder kegs under them. Take the “rich”, oil-producing Middle East countries. There isn’t a single non-oil industry they have been able to build, and as their oil dries up, they will face continued internal unrest, and their dissatisfied people will be exporting violence as they have been already. Religion, anger, violence, corruption and incompetence continues to characterize the Middle East counties, and that is the source for a large part of today’s geo-political instability in this world.And the problem is the same but with different factors in different parts of the world. For example, in a country like the US, where wealth is abundant, income inequality has been steadily rising for the past 30 years, http://inequality.org/incom…, and I can’t think of a single reason why this should be acceptable.Anyways, long rant here, hitting at many things. But that’s my view of the world, as a global, multi-cultural 50+year-old citizen of this world, who has lived in 5 countries, travelled to 35, speaks 3 languages, and sees things a certain way.

    1. awaldstein

      First off you rarely share of yourself personally so this is a treat.In response, being acceptable and doing something to change it are completely different.No one thinks it acceptable, certainly not you or I. But what are you or I doing to change it?Maybe something but damn little.(We are so different btw as I’ve worked internationally for 20 years but never bothered to count how many countries I’ve been in. )

      1. pointsnfigures

        Income inequality is a symptom. As William correctly points out, it’s not solving the problem. The problem is opportunity. A start in the US would be scrapping the existing public school system and figuring out a competitive way to educate kids.From the article I linked to:”Perhaps the best example of the destructive “public option” is our nation’s schools. Here we clearly have a government provided “public option” competing with (and in fact dominating in size) private schooling. But, is it fair? Does it work well? Not by a long-shot. To send your kids to private school (i.e., a school that competes with the government) you need to first pay your taxes for the public schools. Absent vouchers or tax credits, the bête noirs of the “socialism in education” set, if you eschew the “public option” you have to pay for education twice. Double payment is not only unfair, but the quality of the public product without competition is inhuman and a catastrophe to a generation of children the Left weeps tears over, but actively works to destroy (after all, the Left needs future customers). That the schools provided by the government pale next to the private options, which themselves pale next to what we would have with a full private system (even if publicly funded) is beyond sad, but not the direct point here. The direct point is a “public option” cannot exist without cheating – in this case making you pay for it even if you don’t use it (I’m pretty sure if a private company tried that it would be called stealing).With a “public option” things inevitably would go the horrific way of our public schools. Instead of existing to please customers (patients and students, respectively) the “public option” in schools exists largely to benefit empowered stakeholders of the system (health administrators and unionized school employees, respectively), who will shamelessly pretend to give a darn about sick people and children. Watch the analogy play out if we go this route in health care. It will be like looking in a funhouse mirror and seeing a doctor where you used to see a teacher. All else will be the same.”

        1. awaldstein

          I agree with both of you.Great to pontificate on it, my question is if it concerns you what are you doing to fix it?Besides vote where you think the future is, fund a few companies. That’s what we all do.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Get rid of a lot of govt bureaucracy. Go to a flat tax of 15% no matter what you do or what you make. That’s a start. Empower individuals to have freedom of choice.

          2. awaldstein

            I will say that this election season I have been more active as I feel more compelled to do whatever to influence the outcome as the stakes freaked me out.This was a good thing for me personally.

        2. Matt Zagaja

          I want to public school and am doing ok. Besides public schools do face competition: if your schools are not good then people move out of your town/city.

      2. William Mougayar

        Agreed but you and I can do little things, despite finding this unacceptable. For some of those with greater powers and means, by virtue of their inactions, they implicitly show that this is acceptable or tolerable by them.

        1. awaldstein

          Of course–it is up to each of us to do what they want.And everyone has the right to complain and pontificate on it but I simply don’t listen to kvetching with actions. Theres an endless supply of that.I don’t do enough. Some investments. Influence on companies I”m involved in to do the right thing. That’s about it. Not a lot of my opinion of myself.

        2. creative group

          William Mougayar:Apathy verse Empathy!

          1. awaldstein

            Empathy is a trait of being a full human being. It is not an action.

    2. Matt Zagaja

      I think the reason people get upset is that time and effort wise people can put in the same amount of work and receive vastly different incomes and outcomes. My lawyer friends who had to settle for small firm jobs at $40K/year in CT work just as hard and often on the same subject matter as my lawyer friends making $140K/year.

      1. William Mougayar

        How do their costs of living and quality of life compare though? It’s relative, to an extent.

        1. Matt Zagaja

          My friends making that much at the big Hartford firms are pretty much experiencing a vastly superior quality of life at the same cost of living as my peers working at the small CT firms. They’ve paid off their law schools, purchased nice automobiles, real estate, and travel more frequently. The ones at the Boston firms maybe a little less because they’re making a larger donation to their landlord for their Back Bay/South Boston apartments but overall they’re probably a bit happier than my friends scraping by at the small firms.

  11. Maya Wiley

    Important points and only part of the big story. Wealth is a far better measure for the developed world. And Amartya Sen’s work on transactional capacities is a hard read but well worth it. Because a Black man with a middle class income in the US has a shorter life span than a poor man in Kerala, India. It doesn’t mean all is bad or good for either. But it does mean well being should be the measure and the mechanisms that develop it includes policies, networks and opportunity-building.

    1. creative group

      Maya Wiley:If race is one factor measured why not allow scientific evidence showing why there is a disparity. Blacks are subject to many society issues, deaths from murder (Which the cited counterpart is less subject), diet contributors-hypertension from death food labeled as soul food, etc. On and on.

      1. Maya Wiley

        I agree with you that research is important here. There is good research that shows multiple issues. Much on health disparities including cancer, heart disease and violence. And even implicit bias in offered diagnoses and treatment. And more research is helpful. My larger point using this example is that income alone can’t be our measure of opportunity. Wealth and transactional capacity are better measures. And many many very poor people will remain very poor for reasons of inequalities and policy decisions that I know matters to Fred and believe we should all be taking a hard look at.

  12. Pete Griffiths

    If you combine this chart with the proliferation of smart phones globally (eg as portrayed by Mary Meeker’s last couple of talks) then you have a growing global inequality combined with a growing awareness of that fact. An explosive combination.For those interested in distribution of wealth and income “Capital in the 21st Century” Thomas Piketty is essential reading.

  13. creative group

    MODERATORS:Is there a function to allow taglines?Thanks in advance……PS: Shamelessly having to acknowledge we say we don’t have any social media accounts but this blog is our limited social media. Requesting taglines, DM request soon to come, etc.#TERMLIMITS#UNEQUIVOCALLY&UNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT#TRUEINDEPENDENT

  14. gary macgregor

    I urge you to re-read the paragraph starting with the phrase “The contrast between the unambiguous success of people at point A and the relative failure of people at point B “. The point made here is that “coincidence of the two developments and the plausible narratives” can lead to correlations that merely appear to be real. I think much more data is needed to conclude that this is the story of the movement of labor, project outcomes over the next 25 years or declare that capital, to the exclusion of labor, is the only way to raise incomes.

  15. Susan Rubinsky

    Just an FYI, when I paste the link to this page in Facebook, the page name comes through as: Database ErrorSort of ironic.

  16. DaveGoulden

    The x axis is actually Percentile, not Percentage. It didn’t make any sense until I clicked to the blog post you mentioned and it labeled it Percentile.It is very insightful to look at the global system vs just the US. The thing I remember most from my first macro economics class over 30 years ago is that there really is no “job creation” there is really only a flow of jobs from place to place or industry to industry as technology evolves.It’s up to each country to figure out how it will handle being on the up or downside of this fact. For me, this is the best argument for the minimum guaranteed income you’ve mentioned a few times.That guarantee along with re-setting the expectations that the social contract has changed will help stabilize our economy. Jobs are now more like the tech business where we are all free agents and less like the “good old days” where factory workers could have a 30 year career followed by a nice pension.Our education system needs to have this new contract built in from the ground up. Our kids will no longer thrive by obedience and regurgitating facts. They need to learn how to ask the right questions and build a continuous learning mindset.We are in a tough transition as a country and if we examine our history of how we handled these transitions, like the industrial revolution, we will find that it was smart leadership and collective actions both public and private that helped us thrive.I wish this was the debate we were having in this election season.

  17. Chimpwithcans

    Something I think is missing from this chart is the change in aspiration in the developing world – although developing world incomes are rising – it is nowhere near enough to match the rise in aspirations that has come with TV and then internet content. Even a maasai cattle herder in the Serengeti will know who Cristiano Ronaldo is, and what shoes he wears.

    1. JLM

      .This is a very astute observation, Big Mix.One of the biggest drivers of American aspiration was the two world wars. They used to say, “You’re never going to keep Willie on the farm now that he’s seen Paris.”The post WWII boom in the US was based on what we learned from total employment of men/women and certain specific skills such as mass produced housing which was the Corps of Engineers ability to instantly build an Army base converted into Levittown.WWII dragged the US out of the Great Depression.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…It was a great example of how gov’t can partner with private industry as the VA provided Veterans mortgage loans to returning soldiers. It also provided the GI Bill.I went to undergrad on a full Army ride and to grad school on the Viet Nam War Era GI Bill.Agreeing more with you than you agree with yourself.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > WWII dragged the US out of the Great Depression.Supposedly we were back to 1-2-3 jobs for everyone who would work within 90 days flat after 12/7/1941. And for some reason rarely clearly explained when the war was over we didn’t fall back into the depression.

        1. JLM

          .The other impact that is NEVER mentioned was rationing. Can you imagine the US today rationing sugar?Sugar was the first commodity rationed which put a lot of bakeries and ice creameries out of business. It was only a 30% reduction but it was a hard blow psychologically.Coffee was rationed at the rate of one pound every 5 weeks. No Starbucks in those days.When the war was over, rationing continued until 1946.The US had to ration a lot of foodstuffs to feed its own army and those of our allies. Also the Brits. Canada was a huge ally in the raising of food for our armies.To this day, if you ask a Brit of the WWII generation about Brussels Sprouts they will say something ugly. All the Brits grew BS in window boxes.The rationing program (and Victory Gardens) is one of those overlooked elements of WWII which made the Greatest Generation tough as nails.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, for the macro economy, those effects are super important but also super difficult to model or account for.Long I wanted to understand WWII war production, logistics, etc. Or, how could Germany get it done? Or the Soviets? Or the Japanese? What did the US actually do? I tried to imagine a rational solution. Then I wanted to try to find the resulting analysis of production and logistics as the cause of the outcome of the war.Eventually it dawned on me: A command economy or a dictatorial one can squeeze a LOT more out of people and factories than peacetime figures would suggest. Also, as for Germany and Japan, can get some more from just slave labor. Can get more work out of people with a kind word and a gun at their backs than just a kind word alone.I suspect that in the US people were expected to take second and third jobs and didn’t get to ask much about what they were to be paid and, then, were expected to buy a lot of savings bonds.Supposedly all over the US war economy the word was “Our boys at the front need this.” which likely meant not much for dinner, lots of overtime, not much sleep, a lot of sore muscles, etc. Maybe get a cot, sleep next to the machine, and start again at dawn.At least in the US and maybe also in the USSR, there were efforts to analyze and plan war production using the Leontief model and matrix. But, for that model to make any sense about reality, need to include how much one worker, one machine, etc. can do, and that depends heavily on how hard push, basically force, the workers.E.g., in the Battle of Britain, somehow the English were up there out in the country, mostly beyond the reach of Luftwaffe, producing Spitfire planes. So, they took in steel and aluminum, made V-12 crankcases, cylinder heads, valves, camshafts, pistons, connecting rods, crankshafts, superchargers, propellers, air frames, wings, controls, skins, guns, instruments, landing gear, etc., and rolled them out, apparently with quite good quality control, faster than Germany could shoot them down. No one in England had ever done anything much like that before, and they got up to speed super fast, i.e., as needed by the Battle of Britain. Amazing.Similarly for the Liberty ships, the B-17s, likely the jeeps, tanks, and trucks, guns, ammo, etc.Some of the routine brick and mortar work for the Manhattan Project was astounding. E.g., they wanted a bar for the workers so made it with big windows so that at closing time could throw the customers out the windows — faster than pushing them out the doors. They built huge facilities at Oak Ridge, Hanford, and more.I don’t understand macro economics.Here is a point: Supposedly Democrat pollster Peter Hart said that voters are afraid of Hillary’s lies and afraid of what Trump might do. Well, Hart’s statement was likely not fully objective.But maybe some voters are afraid of some of what Trump might do. That is, he looks so determined that he might charge ahead and hurt some aspects of our economy. E.g., might he restrict some imported products before we can get tooled up to make those products at home?Maybe his “jobs, jobs, jobs” might be some not very desirable jobs, maybe sweat shop jobs, with fewer regulations maybe some unsafe jobs, maybe if get fired then go hungry, maybe due to the threat of being fired basically are turned into slave labor? People could be afraid of things like that. Putting a lot of people back to work without a lot of such sad side effects could require some careful management. Might get some strong union activity, strikes, labor riots.I don’t think it has to be at all bad, but I can see how some people might be afraid.

          2. Lawrence Brass

            You probably know this but part of that amazing development you mention naming parts has a name, it is named the Merlin engine and was designed and produced by one of the most amazing and successful British companies in history, Rolls Royce. Chances are if you fly in a jet today, that you are being pushed forward by a Rolls Royce turbofan engine. I am a fan of GE too.The Merlin was one of the critical pieces that led the Allies to victory. It powered Spitfires, Lancasters, the mighty Mosquito, even American P51s. All these planes had particular characteristics that made them special on their own, but all had a powerful common factor, the Merlin engine.Its amazing to look back from the perspective of our overvalued digital world at that analog world in which engineering, math, materials and pure will were the only tools.This is a vintage movie about Rolls Royce, probably filmed post war. It gives an idea of the scale of the process involved in the design, making, quality controls and testing of the engines. Hope you like it.https://youtu.be/-fo7SmNuUU4

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, the Merlin engine was a landmark. Just watched the video — fun.IIRC the Merlin was brought to the US, and Packard manufactured some. Then there was the Allison V-12, likely closely related to the Merlin.Just checked: Apparently at times the Merlin was also considered for the twin engine P-38 but in the end the Allison engine remained for the P-38.For more on Rolls Royce, there is for their high bypass turbofan engines a nice video athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…and a thread at HN at https://news.ycombinator.co…That engine, right, is what Trump is using on his Boeing 757.Why high bypass? For mass m and velocity v, have kinetic energy 1/2mv^2 and momentum mv. So, for a jet engine throwing mass m of hot gas out the back at relative velocity v, get thrust mv but pay for that in energy (1/2) mc^2.Okay, let’s keep the energy (1/2) mv^2 constant. Now suppose for that energy, we have some freedom in the pair m and v. What do we want?Well, we want mv to be large while keeping the energy (1/2) mv^2 constant. But we notice that in (1/2) mv^2 we pay for v^2 but in mv get only v. So, we want v small and m large.So, to make mv large, for the given energy (1/2) mv^2 the mass m we throw out the back, the m should be as large as we can make it and v small.Well, if all we throw out the back is the hot gasses from the combustion, our v is large and our m small. So, for that hot gas out the back of the engine, we should not throw it out the back so fast and, instead, pass it over a turbine and get some shaft horsepower out of it and then use that shaft horsepower to drive a huge fan, ducted propeller, up front that throws out a huge mass at low relative velocity. That’s why we have big fans up front throwing back a huge mass of air, not hot but just at the outside temperature, at relatively low velocity. And the hot gas that goes out the back no longer goes so fast since much of it’s momentum went to drive the turbine to drive the fan.Works great.Works so well can even use an ‘aft-fan’: For that turbine in the back, just make the blades too long so that they stick out past the rest of the engine. Then as the hot gasses turn that turbine, the parts of the blades that stick out can push cool air out the back. So, Look, Ma, no shaft to the front to drive the fan; just have the fan at the back and drive it without a shaft.Great. But, for some reason, it doesn’t work well when the plane is above the speed of sound! But it’s the only way to go for subsonic!

      2. Chimpwithcans

        As a regular AVC’er, I will cherish my first “I agree with you more than….” – it is something of a badge of honour I believe :)In South Africa specifically, this growth in aspiration has led to dangerously high levels of consumer debt. http://www.rdm.co.za/busine…Government/Private partnerships are a great idea I reckon, assuming the government is fully functional and not bent out of shape. The US has been lucky in that respect.

  18. george

    The topic of redistribution of wealth is really a very complex issue, the graph captures the top view. In the US, the middle class has really been the recipient of collapsing opportunity. Sure this was/is caused by shifts in traditional economic structures (overseas manufacturing), but also technology and innovation that has led to productivity gains and new skills required for creating more future economic certainty; in part, I blame our our lack of focus on education (system).Perhaps this is a transitionary view before the next big wave of change hits – huge demographic shift in world population – density of millennials. Two thirds of the worlds population and workforce over the next 5-10 years will be controlled collectively by China, India and the US, if what I’ve statistically read is correct.I hope the next round of US leaders truly understand the magnitude of what stands before us and truly serve our future best interests – the most scarce resource is human capital and how it’s directed, that largely, defines our future economic way of life!

  19. JLM

    .Studies like these are good to stimulate our thinking but they are essentially worthless when they confuse the concepts of income — compensation for labor — and ROI (return on investment).They are not the same thing.The top 1% do not hold jobs and cash paychecks. A bit of an oversimplification, I readily concede. They are engaged in putting their capital to work and in investing their intelligence in capital gains related endeavors.This is true of entire industries.When these two concepts are commingled, you end up with curves like this which only make sense in the middle.What is also missing — and maybe cannot be fixed — is the lack of granularity as it relates to the potential for income based on the nature of the political system involved.Nobody was going to get rich in East Germany during the time of the USSR. It was not possible. I use this only as an example and recognize it was different during the 1988-2008 time frame.It would be interesting to see the same analysis based on the political system at work — as an example capitalist countries v Cuba/Venezuela, etc. China is interesting as it is a goulash of capitalism within 100 miles of the coast and a Communist country in the hinterlands and a peasant agrarian society in the deep hinterlands.In the end, the same basic truths prevail — get up early, stay late, work hard, spend an hour a day improving your knowledge/skills, save your money, harness the power of compound interest and watch what you eat.JLMwww.themusingsoftheibigredc…

  20. JLM

    .Small complaint. Disqus has been eating my comments. No more comments for today.Get it together, Disqus. Please.

    1. creative group

      JLM:Explanation request or a technical coder may can answer the question. We had actually thought that some comments were filtered. (We assume not the case).Is there three ways to access the ACV blog? ACV.com, Email link and Disqus subscription.Is that correct? Question channelled thru your post statement.

  21. Vendita Auto

    The danger: Wealth is like manure. It stinks when it piles up, and it’s only useful when it’s scattered (Leo Tolstoy)

  22. Ana Milicevic

    @fredwilson Typo alert: Dr. Milanović’s name is Branko, not Bruno

  23. pointsnfigures

    There is. The trading pits are the closest thing you will see. There are federal regs, subsidies etc, but the B/A spread in many financial markets are unbridled capitalism. And, they are fair. You don’t know anything about anyone on the other side of the computer screen.The federal govt has screwed up every single marketplace. If I look to farming, the big moves came in 1933 under FDR and the moves were political. Let’s see what happens to what farmers plant and produce if we ended all subsidies for farming and energy. I bet organic farmers would benefit gigantically as the cost to produce changed.

  24. pointsnfigures

    Markets create communities. Kickstarter is a good example of a free market.

  25. JLM

    .One of the funny things about life is what people have actually done.In my case, I provided health insurance (health, pharma, dental, vision, life, wellness) for 33 years through several different companies.I believed I owned my people’s problems. I also realized I could buy it better than they could. It was tax deductible and it was paid for with before tax dollars.So, while all the liberals were crying for it, I was doing it. Easily and simply. I even put the people in charge of it (primarily because I didn’t want to be second guessed).It worked just fine.For me, it was never political. It was just business.Before Obamacare screwed things up, they should have found a way to do what they said — keep your insurance plan, keep your doctor. If they’d done that about 70% of America would have been happy.They did not.The fact they lied to us and that the lies were so fundamental and unnecessary is a shame but it has created a political issue where a guy like me never even caught a whiff of politics in it.They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.The problem with single payer is the same as always — what complex thing does the gov’t ever do well and cost effectively?The corollary is one that is important today — What issue, involving money and gov’t, doesn’t become a cesspool of graft and corruption?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…