Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable.
Economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggest that people near the bottom end of financial inequity are less likely to be in favour of programs that will help increase their income if those programs will also help those lower on the scale than they are.
...the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the “income distribution” that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution. The people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them..
This may also explain why Warren Buffet's cry to stop coddling the rich (previously
) will continue to fall on deaf ears.
posted by asnider
on Aug 16, 2011 -
In an investment manager's view on the top 1%
- referring to the richest Americans by wealth and income - we learn that one needs $1.2 million in net worth to barely slip in the door of the top 1%. But that's just a start: the real power and influence in the U.S., the author argues, resides in the top 0.1%. You can guess who you'll find there: bankers and large-cap CEOs. Relevant quotes include... [more inside]
posted by mark7570
on Aug 4, 2011 -
How Private Is 'Private Charity'?
Private charity may be more accurately described
as "private donations coupled with involuntary, tax-financed public subsidies." And it's not fair
: "very low-income people paying only payroll taxes get hardly any leverage for their donations. Very high-income people in states with high income-tax rates – such as New Jersey and New York – can through the tax code virtually double the money funneled to a charity per dollar of their own sacrifice." (previously
posted by kliuless
on Jan 17, 2011 -
The Rise of the New Global Elite
The new global elite are fabulously wealthy, cosmopolitan, philanthrocapitalist
, entrepreneurial, highly driven, frequently self-made, and confident they deserve their success. They are also often unsympathetic to the middle classes of the developed world. Said one senior executive: "...if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty [and] one American drops out of the middle class...that's not such a bad trade."
posted by shivohum
on Jan 16, 2011 -
SEED Magazine: Wealth of Nations
: "Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?" [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 30, 2010 -
The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s superrich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city. There are nine elevators, a spa, a 50-seat theater and a grand ballroom. Hundreds of servants and staff are expected to work inside. And now, finally, after several years of planning and construction, the residents are about to move in. All five of them. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Oct 29, 2010 -
say the USA is a Plutonomy
-an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. In a further sign
, the top 5% of Americans by income now account for 37% of all consumer outlays (the bottom 80% by contrast share about the same). Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product. In a possibly worrisome sign, the wealthy are cutting back on spending
posted by stbalbach
on Aug 6, 2010 -
"[Bank robber Peter Barry] Lawrence, 71, made his getaway in his wheelchair, with $2,000 in cash on his lap... he took a meandering route down Seventh Avenue until the police caught up with him five minutes later. But that was all part of the plan.
" And an embedded reporter in Afghanistan notes that "many young soldiers told me that they actually live better in the army
, even when deployed, than they did in civilian life, where they couldn't make ends meet, especially when they were trying to pay for college or raise a family by working one or two low-wage jobs" (p. 1
). Meanwhile, "parents of means are now resorting to buying franchise businesses
to keep their adult children employed." Economic life in contemporary America.
posted by rkent
on Aug 3, 2010 -
Who rules America? Wealth, income and power
Next time you hear "Fair and Balanced" Fox News whining about the socialist wealth redistribution agenda of the Obama "regime", refer back to this. Goes a long way towards explaining why 47% of Americans don't pay income tax.
posted by Daddy-O
on Apr 15, 2010 -
Dating A Banker Anonymous Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships. Via
posted by ColdChef
on Jan 28, 2009 -
'You loser!" screamed Katie, aiming a vase at her husband.
"You've destroyed my life,'' she continued, hurling it. "Just look at my hair, look at my nails! You loser, you jerk, you nobody."
, Jack, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash
, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back
on her thrice-weekly visits to Nicky Clarke, the nail salon in Harvey Nichols, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at Space NK.
posted by plexi
on Nov 28, 2008 -
In 1943, while the Allies were busy battling the Axis Powers and the Nazi Regime, there was another
kind of war that was being waged against a helpless populace (living on the Indian Sub-continent). A war
that has been largely ignored by the mass media and the history books of our time. It is known as the Great Bengal Famine
, and ended up causing the death
of an estimated 1.5 million to 4 million
posted by hadjiboy
on Aug 30, 2008 -
- To hear the Lou Dobbses and Bill O'Reillys of the world--not to mention politicians ranging from Ron Paul to Hillary Clinton--the middle class of America (however you define that term) has never had it so tough. Between credit squeezes, out-of-control immigration, rising costs of education and health care and everything else, it's all darkness out there for those of us who are neither millionaires nor welfare cases, right? (A video presented by Drew Carey and reason.tv)
posted by blue_beetle
on Feb 5, 2008 -
by Four Seasons is your own private apartment aboard a giant cruise ship (one of 112 similar apartments aboardship). For those afflicted with both wanderlust and an unimaginable amount of money, the online brochure
makes a somewhat compelling case for having no fixed abode.
posted by jonson
on Aug 27, 2007 -
The Motley Fool's new CAPS
stock-picking system keeps track of your stock picks and whether they outperformed or underperformed the market. Then everyone's picks are aggregated, weighted by the quality of their past records, to rank individual stocks. Here's how it works.
posted by ikkyu2
on Oct 4, 2006 -
. "Dine, shop, live, work, and be entertained in a unique and alluring environment," says the Time Warner Center
website - all without ever stepping outside your gleaming Manhattan skyscraper. San Jose's Santana Row
, which at first glance seemed no more than a Beverly Center
you can live in, is now being compared favorably to urban European living. And MGM-Mirage
's new, mysterious
and costly ($7 billion!) Project CityCenter
brings the trend to Las Vegas - with gambling, of course. They're not Arcosantis
- and they don't, as yet, require an Oath of Fealty
- but by all accounts they're thriving
. What do they have in common? Wealthy tenants, megacorporate sponsors, and a shared desire to integrate efficient, conspicuous consumption into every aspect of civic life. Paolo Soleri
may have been right after all - maybe he just forgot to account for the effects of capitalism
posted by ikkyu2
on Aug 28, 2006 -
What’s the best way to dispose of an accumulated fortune? Conventional wisdom tells us that you can’t take it with you. The inevitability of death has inspired otherwise ruthless men to contribute to the larger community with the goal of establishing a posthumous legacy. Carnegie built libraries. Bill Gates is working on global health initiatives. But the conventional wisdom on this matter could be wrong. And with that in mind, some wealthy men are choosing to turn themselves into cryonic popsicles
and put their wealth in trust funds in the hope that at some point in the future, Science will be able to revive them.
posted by jason's_planet
on Aug 21, 2006 -